“This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here are my own, I have received compensation from EmblemHealth to review information.”
When I decided that I was going to and fulfill my dreams of being a full time business owner, I had already decided I needed to grow my business and that means hiring a bunch of really smart people to help me do it. New York is a very competitive market and in order to attract and retain employees, the “perks” package is almost as important as compensation itself.
Let’s face it, when I worked a 9 to 5, I always weighed the health benefits into the consideration for all positions I ever held. Now as a business owner (and someone who has never had full time staff), health insurance is one of the most important (and costly) considerations to help me attract and keep employees. With all the changes in healthcare regulations, it’s become practically impossible to figure out the right course of action for my business. While some small businesses have chosen to secure coverage for their employees through insurance agents and brokers, others have decided simply to not offer health insurance at all or direct their employees to the individual marketplace exchange offered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, what I found out and what a lot of small businesses don’t know (but should) is that The Affordable Care Act also introduced the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), also known as the Small Business Marketplace in New York. It was created specifically for small businesses with employer tax credits not offered through the individual exchange. (Yes… Tax Credits, we like those)
To help make it easier for small businesses to use the Exchange (and potentially save money in tax credits through the process) some of the strongest business organizations in the city have partnered with EmblemHealth on an initiative to educate small business owners on SHOP.
In addition, EmblemHealth launched a Health Care Reform Hub offering everything a small business owner needs to know about SHOP and offers a Tax Calculator to help business owners determine the tax credits that their business might be eligible for.
So here is a summary of we have learned about SHOP that we thought would be helpful for other small business owners to know:
Any company that has fewer than 50 employees* and a primary business address in the state of New York is eligible for small business health insurance. SHOP allows you to browse and compare plans. When you’re ready, you can choose the plans you’d like to offer and SHOP will notify your employees that it’s time for them to enroll.
You may qualify to receive tax credits worth up to 50% of your contribution to employee premiums. To find out if your small business qualifies, you can use the simple tax credit calculator
Ability to Control Costs
Since SHOP standardizes cost-sharing, it’s easy for employers to choose to contribute a fixed amount or percentage to their employees’ premiums.
Flexibility for Your Employees
The platinum, gold, silver and bronze levels introduced under the Affordable Care Act offer the same benefits with different premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Because you have the freedom to offer any plan from any insurer or to limit your options, you can empower employees to choose plans best suited to their needs and where they live. That freedom can contribute to a stable and productive workplace and can help with employee retention and recruitment.
I suggest that you take the time to review this material carefully as it is laid out in a way that is easy to understand. If you know other small business owners that can benefit from this info, please use the share buttons below and spread the love (and knowledge)