The individual health insurance market has essentially collapsed in Indiana. With the largest insurers no longer participating in the exchange set up under the Affordable Care Act, people without access to a group plan through an employer find themselves in a difficult place. If you are a business owner who relied on grossing up wages to help your employees purchase their own quality health insurance plans, it is important to know what they no longer have that option. Your business is now at risk of losing employees to competitors that provide health benefits.
Fortunately, there is another employee health insurance option available to small businesses. Organizations classified as MEWAs, or Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements, have always been exempt from the ACA and therefore exist outside of the exchange. This exemption allows Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) like Indiana-based WorkSmart Systems to offer private group health insurance plans to its members. Partnering with a PEO allows small businesses to harness the power of pooling, by joining their employees with those of the other PEO members. Being a part of this larger group affords your employees the health benefits of a Fortune 500 firm at a reasonable cost.
It may be that you were relying on the individual market for your health insurance as well and are now looking at your options. If you have at least five full-time employees, including yourself, WorkSmart is an option for your business. However, don’t let that number scare you off if it appears that you have fewer FTEs. There may be relationships within your business that qualify as employees that you have not considered. At Worksmart we can help you clearly define your workforce, which may open up the opportunity for PEO membership.
While the fate of the individual health insurance market is uncertain, the fact is that you still need to run your business. Now more than ever, offering employee health insurance is a key factor in attracting and retaining a quality workforce. WorkSmart serves as the co-employer for over 7,000 Indiana employees, and medically underwrites their health insurance plan offering multiple benefit options. Their self-funded, trust-based model has allowed them to craft a balanced health benefits program that can help protect their partners from the policies coming out of Washington, today and beyond.
To discover whether your business qualifies to participate in a PEO, send me an email or give me a call at 317.663.4138.