Good health is good business, but according to a study by Aon Hewitt, 2016 health insurance premiums are expected to rise 4.1% more than 2015 rates. For many small and medium-sized US based businesses, this is more of an increase than they can absorb. Some companies may decide to not offer health coverage and instead steer their employees to the Health Insurance Marketplace. The marketplace enables employees to select medical and dental coverage for themselves and their families. But, your employees need to take action quickly as the Open Enrollment deadline to get coverage this year is January 31st. Send them to https://www.healthcare.gov to initiate coverage. The healthcare.gov site can walk them through the steps. Employees can also apply via phone, with a paper application, or get in-person help at locations convenient to them.
As an employer, you should give each new hire one of the following forms after completing the second page and resaving the PDF:
- If you offer health insurance, give this form to your employees http-::www.dol.gov:ebsa:pdf:FLSAwithplans.
- If you don’t offer health insurance, give this form to your employees http-::www.dol.gov:ebsa:pdf:FLSAwithoutplans.
The consequences of not having health insurance are steep. Your employees may have to pay a penalty with their 2016 federal taxes of either 2.5% of their income, or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child) — whichever is higher.
After January 31, 2016, individuals can’t buy a health insurance plan for the rest of 2016 unless they experience a life change such as having a baby, getting married, or losing other health coverage. So whether you are able to provide coverage or not to your employees, make sure they are informed of their options.