Health Insurance for Business; Obstacles, Options, and Optimism


Health insurance for business has become an almost daily concern for power washing businesses and their employees. Businesses like ours want to offer a respectable employee benefits package – including some kind of health insurance. The problem we encounter, though, is that small businesses have a rough time finding good, affordable insurance.

Health Insurance for business operates on the principal of pooled risk. If one employee has a significant claim within the year, the premiums will go up for everyone. A large business can spread the increase between many pool members, but a small business could quickly find their premiums have become unaffordable.

One way to lower health insurance costs is to choose plans with high deductibles. Of course, many employees would have a hard time meeting deductibles of $3000 - $10,000 annually, so this doesn’t necessarily solve the problem.

Health Insurance for Business

One fix for that situation would be Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Employees can make tax-deductable contributions to their own HSAs, and the interest they earn is also tax-deductable. Being able to tap into these HSAs could take some of the sting out of large deductibles. Of course, it is possible to offer your employees HSAs instead of health insurance. Both employers and employees can contribute to HSAs, with the happy result that your employees will be administering their own health care coverage.

Another way to lower the cost of health insurance for business is to find alternate ways to insure your employees. For instance, your employees over 65 may find that they would pay lower premiums and get equal levels of care through Medicare. Likewise, if you can't afford the premiums to insure an entire family, you may simply insure your employee, then steer him or her toward your State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which offers health insurance just for children. Each state has different eligibility requirements, but most working families will qualify for this insurance.

We know that changes in our health care insurance system are coming soon, so we all should find out what changes are being considered, and support the ones which will benefit small businesses.

Last spring, a group of senators introduced a new plan to improve health insurance for business and named it the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). The plan has three components. The first allows small businesses to pool their resources, even across state lines (which is currently prohibited). This can help lower their premiums. SHOP also provides tax credits for small businesses to help offset the cost of health insurance, and finally it protects employers from large rate increases because of employee claims. This is still a viable option as the health insurance debate continues, and if you think it is a good option, your senator should know about that.

Health insurance for power washer business will remain a need and therefore an issue for years to come. Staying aware of your options will ultimately help you and your employees stay healthy and in business.

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