Group health insurance provides affordable coverage for the employees and members of large companies or organizations. It is typically offered as part of a benefits package and is the most common type of health insurance among working age people and their dependents. Premiums are reduced as the insurance company’s risk is spread across a large group of policyholders. In most cases, your employer will cover at least a portion of your premiums too, making it one of the most affordable ways to get insured.
Must all Employers Offer Health Insurance?
Under the Affordable Care Act, only large companies with 50 or more full-time employees are required to provide group health insurance. Small business with fewer employees will not face penalties if they choose not to offer coverage. However, all employers are eligible to buy a group policy once they have at least two employees, and even self-employed individuals can apply.
Benefits of Group Health Insurance Policies
All group health insurance policies, fall under the protection of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Under this regulation, employees are eligible for coverage regardless of their health status. In many cases, pre-approval health screening is not required.
The Act also means employees have access to continuous coverage by regulating waiting periods and providing the right to COBRA. COBRA allows workers to temporarily continue their employer-sponsored coverage when they lose or quit their job.
As the rates on insurance are re-negotiated annually according to the previous year’s health care costs, many companies run wellness programs to improve the health of their employees. Better health equals less risk for the insurers. Therefore, employees who participate in these programs can receive lowered premiums.
HMO vs. PPO Model
There are two primary types of group health insurance plans:
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs): These plans limit employees choice of doctors by building relationships with a network of health care providers that are willing to offer lower rates.
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs): These plans have higher premiums because they offer employees a more extensive choice of doctors and easier access to specialists.
Want to Learn More About Group Health Insurance Policies?
When it comes to finding affordable health insurance, there’s plenty of benefits to buying in bulk. Whether you’re a small business, large organisation, member, or employee, Your Insurance Gal is here to answer your questions. Give us a call today!