One of the biggest challenges for small business owners and the self-employed is finding affordable health insurance. Being able to take care of your health is important, and health insurance is a big part of that ability, since it can help shield you from big health care costs. On top of that, offering health coverage to your employees can be vital in your efforts to recruit top people. By offering health insurance as a benefit, you can improve the quality of your business by attracting competent and productive workers.
Group Health Insurance
One of your best options is to look into group health insurance. Group plans use the power of numbers to help keep costs contained. If you purchase health coverage for your employees, you can get group rates, which can be lower than individual rates. It is also possible for the self-employed to take advantage of group rates. Many online aggregators allow families, individuals and the self-employed to find insurance plans as part of a group. When you are added to the group, you have access to these lower rates.
The same concept is true of group health plans for small businesses. If you want to provide this benefit to your employees, you can usually find group rates that will make it a little more affordable for you to provide benefits to your employees.
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Looking Online for Health Insurance
You can look online for group health insurance. Group rates can be less expensive. When I was looking for health insurance, as someone self-employed, for my family, I used eHealthInsurance. The site also has options for business group insurance. There are plenty of other aggregate web sites that can help you find group plans for your business, or help you find health insurance as someone who is self-employed. Many insurance companies offer quotes, and you can choose to offer different options that can help your cost. Offering a high deductible plan that is compatible with a Health Savings Account can be one way to reduce your costs.
Tax Benefits for Providing Health Coverage to Employees
Small businesses can benefit from offering health plans to their employees. If you are a small business paying for at least half of your employees' health insurance, you may be eligible for a tax break. If you are a business with 10 employees or less, who earn average wages of $25,000 annually, and phasing out as companies approach 25 employees and an average salary of $50,000 a year.
Until 2013, you can receive a tax credit of up to 35% of what your business spends on health insurance. In 2014, the maximum credit for small businesses will increase to 50% of what you pay for insurance premiums. Of course, there are tax deductions available for what you pay in insurance premiums as someone who is self-employed.
You might also want to look into the options for state tax benefits. Check your state tax code for information about what tax breaks are available, as well as the requirements for qualifying. You should also consider speaking with a trusted tax professional, who can help you find out what advantages you have when offering health coverage to your employees.