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The lowdown on small business health insurance

As a small business owner you have probably thought about health insurance, either for you and your family or for your employees. Most small business owners are under the impression that obtaining health insurance for a small business is unaffordable, so they don't even try to find out more about health insurance for small businesses. What these owners are missing out in is finding out that health insurance is affordable for small businesses; besides the fact it will give your company other benefits as well.

AS a small business if you are planning on expanding or currently have employees you should seriously consider getting health insurance because it can help you hire and retain the best employees. No matter who they are people enjoy having health insurance so that they can have affordable health care, offering health insurance as a small business you are enabling yourself to compete with the larger companies for the best employees.

If you are thinking that health insurance is an expensive benefit you don't have to worry because there are many reputable insurance companies available that offer group health insurance plans for small business, to find these companies you can contact your small business association, talk to other small business owners or do some research online. Be sure that you get competitive bids from numerous companies so that you can ensure you are getting the lowest price possible for your particular needs. Another way to make health insurance more affordable is to offer it to your employees but have them pay a portion of the premiums; even bigger companies do this to help offset the cost of health insurance.

Even if your company only has three employees and is not thinking about expanding another reason that you should consider getting health insurance is that it is a great tax incentive for businesses. The reason why it is a tax incentive is that it is a business expense and you can offset your business expenses from your gross sales to help reduce the amount of income that you will owe taxes on. Keep in mind that if you offer some type of medical reimbursement plan to your employees that is also a tax incentive for both you and the employees. But health insurance is not just an expense when it comes to taxes; there are many other tax benefits that you as a small business owner will receive for offering it.

Health insurance plans also come in a variety of plans, if you are thinking about offering health insurance you need to know what types of plans are available and what those plans consist of. Here is some general information about the various health insurance plans.

- Indemnity plans - these types of plans are also known as reimbursement plans. These types of plans will allow your employee to choose their own doctor and will pay for their medical expenses in one of three ways, totally, partially, or up to a set dollar amount per day for a certain number of days.
- Managed care plans - these include health maintenance organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO) and point of service (POS) plans. They also provide broader coverage, but require an arrangement between the insurer and a selected network of health care providers

Here are some things that a good health insurance plan should cover.
- Hospital expense - pays room, board, and incidental services costs if you are hospitalized.
- Surgical expense - surgeon's fees and related costs associated with surgery
- Physician's expense - pays for doctor office visits or a doctor's hospital visit

Here are some additional benefits that you should include in your health insurance plans.
- Prescription drugs
- Preventive care
- Mental health benefits
- Maternity care
- Vision care

Other things to consider when looking at health insurance plans are the amount of co-payment that you and your employees will have to pay each time you visit a doctor or hospital, what kind of deductible you are going to have to meet before your insurance will begin to pay on any of your claims, and coinsurance, which is the percentage you will have to pay for medical services after you have paid your deductible.

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