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Special Health Insurance Enrollment Period Open

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The ability to provide health insurance is a huge factor in bringing in quality candidates to fill open positions. However, many businesses struggle to be able to offer competitive packages.

Nearly 80 percent of small business owners worry about the cost of health insurance and 61 percent say the cost of their small business coverage has limited ability to award of bonuses or offer raises, according to this eHealth study 

Even though it may be overwhelming and expensive, health insurance plans should absolutely be considered by business owners. Not only is it a way to attract talent, according to Anthony Lopez, senior director, small business at eHealth, a private insurance exchange, it’s also a way to lower an owner’s health insurance costs.

If you are a small or mid-sized business that wants to offer health insurance, Lopez explains the benefits of the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) from Nov. 15, 2018 to Dec. 15, 2018 and what needs to be done to qualify.

In order to qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must meet your state’s staff requirements to be considered a small business. In most states, a small group is classified as a business employing at least two and as many as 50 employees. In a few states, including New York, California, Vermont and Colorado, a small group can include up to 100 employees. You can quality for group coverage during SEP with just two qualifying employees, classified as common law employees that collect a W-2.

  • You must have at least one eligible employee. When applying under this period, as few as just one employee can enroll, no matter how many on your payroll.

Special advantages during enrollment period:

One of the common barriers for small business employers seeking group health coverage is the frequent requirement that they must contribute a minimum of 50 percent toward their employees’ health care premiums. During this period (Nov. 15, 2018–Dec. 15, 2018), there are no minimums for contribution. Which means you can still offer health insurance benefits even if your provide no financial assistance toward the cost of premiums.

Most states require 70 percent of eligible employees to participate in a group health plan. During the enrollment period, this is waived.


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