Small businesses have new tools in choosing health insurance
By Richard Sorian, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
We’ve added a new service to further help small businesses find the right health care coverage for their employees.
In addition to featuring information about new benefits in the law, HealthCare.gov also has a health insurance finder tool, which displays information about insurance plans with estimated base rates, doctor choices, number of applications that were denied, and other details that allow consumers to compare options. And as of today, this insurance tool includes private coverage options for small businesses: http://finder.healthcare.gov/.
Starting today, owners of small businesses with will have access to the following:
- Insurance product choices for a given ZIP code, sorted by out-of-pocket limits, average cost per enrollee, or other factors.
- A summary of cost and coverage for small group products that shows the available deductibles, range of copay options, included and excluded benefits, and benefits available for purchase at additional cost.
- The ability to filter product selection based on whether they are Health Savings Account eligible, have prescription drug, mental health, or maternity coverage, and allow for domestic partner or same sex coverage.
The new information adds to our site’s unprecedented ability to search and compare coverage options. Today, more than 530 companies that sell small business insurance have provided information on more than 2,700 products in every state and the District of Columbia.
The insurance marketplace is confusing and can be hard to navigate. Even worse, on average, small businesses pay 18 percent more than large firms for the same health insurance policy. To help make it easier for people – including small business owners – to learn about the law and find coverage options, the health reform law created http://www.healthcare.gov/to make it easier to find a health plan that is right for you and your small business. HealthCare.gov features a wide range of consumer health information and has received nearly 9 million visits since it was launched.
The new service is just one way the Affordable Care Act is making it easier for small businesses to cover their employees. Employers with fewer than 25 workers can qualify for tax credits of up to 35% to offset the cost of providing health insurance. That credit will increase to 50% in 2014—making the cost of insuring employees more affordable still. To find out more about the tax credit, go here.