Small Business Guide to Open Enrollment
Updated for 2019
John Thornton | Published October 5, 2018
For small employers only:
Does the following sound familiar?
"I'd love to offer health insurance but my small call center business can't pay a minimum of $5,000/month to cover my people! I could do $1,000, maybe $1,500, but not $5,000. I wish I could just do that, and not be forced to pay some mandated minimum!"
"I wish my coffee shop could offer group health insurance - I know Debra and Jerry need it and, well, I do too. But I have so many part-time employees that my business can never qualify: my participation rate falls below the minimum required. Why can't I just get insurance for those who want it - why do I have to force others to get health insurance when only some of them want it? I wish I could just offer health insurance to all, knowing only 6 or so will take it, and the insurance company would just insure us!"
Announcing a “Special Open Enrollment” period for small groups with 2 – 50 employees which allows you, the business owner, to offer group health even if you cannot meet either (or both) the participation and the financial commitment!
If the above quotes sound familiar, great news! You can enroll your small group (2-50 people) between November 1st and December 15th (with a January 1st effective date) and take advantage of these exemptions in enrolling requirements:
- No Participation Requirement. Let's say you're a retailer, a gymnasium owner, a restauranteuer, for example - You have a core group of management you would like to offer benefits to, but participation requirements force you out of the market, stating that 75% of eligible employees must sign up for insurance, otherwise you will be disallowed from offering it. Other than a minimum of 2 policies sold per group, there are no participation requirements during the Open Enrollment period!
- No Employer Contribution Requirements - Can't contribute $250 per employee? How about $100? You set the dollar amount of the contribution, you select the amount, if any, the employer will pay toward the employee premium. Other than what you decide to contribute, there are no contribution requirements during the Open Enrollment period!
- Full Provider Networks, not the limited networks that individual plans have, you now have access to the more robust group provider networks (compared to the networks available to individual plans).
This Open Enrollment period is the only time in which you, the small business owner, can dictate to the insurance provider who is going to participate and how much the business will contribute per-employee.
Can't do $5,000/month in employer contributions, but can do some... maybe $1,500? We can fix that. Can't register 35 of your 49 employees, but you do know that 13 of them would sign up today if offered? Let's get those 13 protected!
During Open Enrollment you can establish a group plan with greater flexibility and lower cost and requirements than at any other time of the year. But demand will be busy, so do not hesitate - call or Message me today!