eTennesseeHealthinsurance recommends that firms with small groups of less than 20 employees, who are in relatively good health, let their workers sign up for individual health insurance instead of a group plan. Because individual plans are underwritten, employees with pre-existing conditions may have trouble qualifying.
These employees can join a federal risk pool and will be able to purchase individual coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions in 2014. The new health care reform law actually makes it more attractive for small businesses to eliminate group coverage. Starting in 2014, employees with earnings of less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which is up to $88,200 for a family of four, will receive a federal subsidy on health insurance if their company doesn't offer a group plan.
For firms with more than 50 employees, there will be a $3,000 fee per employee who receives a subsidy, but there is no such cost to small businesses. Some small business owners have already moved from the group plan market to the individual coverage market and have been able to cut their annual health care costs by more than 50 percent. With less expensive premiums, employers have found they can afford to expand coverage from just employees to include family members.
Some employers have also been able to buffer a high deductible plan by adding inexpensive accident health plans that keep employees’ deductibles down to $100 for accident-related medical bills.
Certain high-deductible plans may also be combined with a health savings account (HSA). Both the employer and employee may contribute to an employee’s HSA and both can receive substantial benefits.
For employers, a HSA plan means minimal administrative costs and multiple payroll contribution options are typically available. Separating the health insurance company from the HSA administrator offers the flexibility to change health insurance providers to keep premiums low.
Employees have greater control with an HSA plan than with group coverage because they retain ownership should they leave the company. They can take tax deductions for contributions to their HSA and their HSA earnings grow tax free. Unlike flexible spending accounts, HSA funds are not lost at year end. Employees who don’t need their HSA funds for health care can build a retirement income.
In Tennessee, leading providers like BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Humana One have a selection of HSA options. With eTennesseeHealthinsurance’
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eTNHealthinsurance has become a leader in providing educational resources that enable Tennessee families, individuals and small businesses to keep their healthcare costs low. Online research of how to keep premiums low is available at http://www.eTNHealthinsurance.com/
eTNHealthinsurance also provides extensive tools to lower healthcare costs that are not covered by insurance at http://www.eTNHealthinsurance.com/
Tennessee small business owners and residents seeking individual health insurance plans may use eTNHealthinsurance’