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Is Your Health Insurance Expected to Spike in 2015?

By: Heather Legg

 

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As the New Year’s bells toll—are your resolutions made? What about your responsibilities if you’re a small business owner? Are your budgets set, changes made, numbers calculated? A big part of being a small business owner is the health insurance needs of your employees. With the shift over the years of tougher and more expensive health insurance plans, many are seeing health insurance as a financial stretch, but one they are still willing to provide to employees.

 
Who has to provide health insurance?
 
According to Obamacare/The Affordable Care Act, as of the New Year (2015), companies who employ 100 or more full time employees (those who work at least 30 hours) must provide health care or there will be a financial penalty. For those with less than 100, they have more options. 
 
But even for employers with few employees, providing health insurance to them is a pretty important step of running a business. Those who have insurance are statistically more productive and healthier throughout the year. This is a boon to your business.
 
Will the price go up in 2015?
 
According to Business Record, 2015 will see a small increase in health insurance premium costs. Whereas there was about a 4.4 percent increase in 2014, it is predicted that there will be a little higher increase in 2015, one at about 5.5 percent. In 2014, the average rate of health care plan costs per employee was at about $10,717, so the coming year will see at a little more than that.
 
 
What can you, as a small business employer, do?
 
As the following article shows, there is a lot to consider—things like how will health care benefit my business and how life changes impact health insurance? The bottom line is that if you can afford to provide health insurance, you will be better off in the long run. Among the things to note:
 
  • Some are using the tax credit from the Affordable Care Act to counteract the expense of health care.
  • Offer varying plans that fit your budget, but offer something.
  • Sometimes it works if the employees have to contribute more to the health plans than in years past to cover the rising cost.
 
If your employees don’t have good coverage to stay well, you not only risk them leaving you, but also too many days off due to being sick. With healthcare, people can seek treatment and get well faster, but without it, days and productivity will be lost—not good for your business. Be careful as a small business owner to not let the high cost of health insurance cost you your employees. By not offering health insurance, they may look elsewhere for a company that does. 
 
Some small business owners think that if they raise the salaries, it will compensate for the lack of healthcare, but this usually doesn’t work out. The cost just isn’t comparable.
Published: December 31, 2014
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