Compliance and Health Insurance for Small Businesses

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If you own a small business, it can be really difficult to keep up with all of the compliance issues you need for your business. There may be regulations that are specific to your industry, particularly if you’re in financial services, healthcare, or manufacturing, as well as various compliance issues you might need to meet depending on where your business is located - there are state compliance issues, government compliance issues, and sometimes you may even have environmental concerns where you do business.

So when it comes to health insurance, you should know where you stand.

50 or Fewer

Currently, if you have 50 or fewer employees, you are not legally required to provide your employees with health insurance. You can find out more about this rule by reading this article from the Small Business Administration.

While regulations might not require you to offer health insurance to your employees, common sense may say otherwise. Your employees want -- and need -- good health insurance benefits, and if you don’t currently provide directly or make access to this insurance available, they are likely going to demand it from you, or look elsewhere for a job.

It’s the wedge that many small business owners like you find themselves in -- they’re not required by law to offer health insurance, but they still need or want to. And, even when employers have the best intentions to follow the letter of the law as well as the wishes of their employees, they can run into a brick wall when they’re looking at traditional group health insurance plans. The high cost of premiums combined with the need for minimum plan participation requirements can be prohibitive to business owners who truly want to provide health insurance to their employees.

We have developed some solutions for small business that we think are well worth consideration. One option is Blue Directions(SM) for Small Business. This is an innovative solution that allows small businesses to provide a group health plan with a lot of flexibility. Offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Directions delivers a brand name that employees know and trust along with a host of tools to help them find just the right plan for their needs -- and to help employers better understand contribution rates and pre-tax options. All of this, with the ease of an online portal and no minimum employer financial contribution requirements or employee participation requirements*.

We also offer IXSuite®, a private health insurance exchange that you can have access to as a business. Your employees can shop on the exchange, which is branded with your company logo - and get the health insurance they want at the price point that works best for them.

These two options bring a great deal of choice to business owners who were previously tied down by rules set by traditional group policies.

Keep working on growing your business. When you’re ready to cross the threshold and it’s finally time to worry about health insurance options, we’ll guide you in the right direction. Contact us if you have questions.

*For enrollments from November 15 - December 15, 2015, with a plan effective date of January 1, 2016.