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Small Businesses and Health Insurance Needs
How many times have you heard potential entrepreneurs who are unwilling to give up their day jobs and take the plunge, "because I'd lose my benefits"? That wimpy cop-out just doesn't look at the big picture, and by spending the rest of your life working for other people, you may well be losing more than you gain. The fact is, those benefits aren't just goodies that big companies can give you. You can give them to yourself and your employees.
In most states, insurance carriers offer health insurance for businesses with as few as two employees. For companies on a slim budget, you may wish to provide health insurance for yourself and your family at your own expense, while giving your employees the opportunity to buy into the plan as well. You can usually offer this option at no extra cost to your business, you just collect the premiums from your employees and pay the bill every month.
Small business insurance doesn't have to be costly. Many smaller companies choose to purchase high-deductible plans in conjunction with a Health Savings Account, which lets you (or your employees) set aside tax-free money to cover medical expenses up to the deductible amount.
When looking for a small business health insurance plan, start by checking with whatever business associations you may belong to. You may be able to purchase it through your local Chamber of Commerce or other business affiliation.
When comparing small business plans, make an apples-to-apples comparison. Lower rates don't necessarily mean cheaper insurance; those low rates may come at the cost of needed coverage. Some insurance carriers decline to cover self employed persons, although state regulations usually require carriers to offer coverage to small businesses. However, there are very few laws that regulate the price the carriers charge, and policies are not standardized. As a result, you may be able to find a low rate, but before you buy into it, make sure that you're still getting the coverage you need.
Still, health insurance rates go up every year by a staggering amount, and many small businesses just can't keep up. Some alternatives to providing some benefit to your employees, and still staying in business include providing low-cost health discount cards, which employees can use to purchase services at discounted rates.
Another option is a medical reimbursement plan, which lets you provide money directly to employees for medical expenses. Your employees buy their own individual health insurance policies, and you decide how much you are willing to provide. The medical reimbursement plan payments are tax-free to employees, and are tax-deductible items for the business owner.
About the Author: Audrey Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur several times over and now spends most of her time helping new business owners incorporate online or form an LLC to get their business started the right way. Audrey writes freelance articles on many aspects of entrepreneurship, including how to guides to incorporate in Florida and other various states. http://www.speedy-incorporation.com