As a Self-Employed Small Business Owner Can I provide Health Insurance Coverage to My Part-time Workers?
Jun 23rd, 2009
As a self-employed small businessperson you may have both full time and part time workers, or perhaps your business is so small you may only have part time workers. As a concerned individual with a sense of fair play you know about the health insurance crises in the USA. The numbers of insured individuals in the USA is staggering. With the USA being an employer based health insurance coverage society you wonder how you will solve the dilemma of providing your employees with health insurance coverage.
There is no doubt that large employers are able to provide health insurance coverage to full time employees and to employees who work as little as 20 hours a week. What can you do as a small business owner when you must seriously balance your company profit to service yourself and your family with the expensive health insurance coverage for full time employees and then you must consider your part-time employees as well? The task may seem so daunting that you may just want to throw your hands up in the air and walk away from the whole situation, but then your good conscious won’t let you until you at least give it a try.
Generally speaking very few small companies provide health insurance coverage and fewer can afford health insurance for part-time workers. About 22 million Americans are part-time workers and without any kind of health insurance coverage.
The government at the state level has also taken notice of this lack of insurance dilemma. They are studying ways of bring down the price of health insurance coverage for small businesses. An option that they have come up with is small business pooling. The reason that larger companies can provide affordable health insurance for their employees is the shear numbers. A company employing 1,000 people will secure a better insurance premium than a company that employs two employees. The idea of small businesses pooling together to bring up the numbers to present to health insurers increases the chances of decreasing over all group health insurance premiums. However, there is no legislation at this time to mandate such a system.
You may find that this option is not viable at the moment. Large insurers do look at the fact that the small business market is not stable. Workers come and go more often than in large business, which offers attractive salaries, fringe benefits, chances for promotions, and very attractive careers. The health insurers in turn will adjust their premiums to reflect this risk presented by the instable environment of the small business community. Selection risks become a problem as well. Large company represents a stable population with a majority of healthy employees, where as small companies are more likely to employ people who are less desirable to a large company health wise. With so many small companies involved, it would be hard to determine the risk pool.
How then can you help your employees, especially the part-timers, and still provide a health insurance plan that you can afford? Well let’s not reject the idea of small business pooling altogether. Depending upon where you live, you will find that some large small business pools have proven successful such as, The Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s pool and the Cleveland Council of Smaller Enterprises.
If you live in New York State you may look into the Healthy NY Insurance Plan. The Healthy NY plan provides economic solutions for small businesses and their employees’ healthcare. This plan provides personal and family coverage for you and your family as well as reduced health premiums for your employees. Also it will also provide coverage to seasonal and part-time workers. Workers would need to earn less than $35,000 a year and there will be other requirements as well.
MediaBistro.com offers health insurance through Oxford, and then there is freelancers Union that works in New York and other states as well.
You may also go through an insurance broker to find the best options in your area. You can contact your local Chamber of Commerce and you can also try the National Association of Health Underwriters site.
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