In my work with small business owners, I get lots of questions about how to finance health insurance for their employees. Many are committed to providing the security that individuals and families need when it comes to health care.Today, small businesses owners also recognize the competitive edge they get by offering a health benefits program to their employees. These employers are looking for a health insurance plan that meets their needs and their budget. The Affordable Care Act offers many options to meet the needs of small businesses.
Small Businesses and DC Health Link
DC Health Link is the online health insurance marketplace for individuals, families, and small business owners in the District of Columbia. If you are a DC-based small business with 1-50 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), you can use the information posted on the website to research options available.
What DC Health Link Offers Small Businesses
- Choice. All the main health insurers in the small group market today - Aetna, CareFirst, Kaiser and United Healthcare – are participating in DC Health Link. Through these companies over 100 different health plans are available.
- Control. DC Health Link lets you the employer determine how much you contribute toward health insurance for your employees and their dependents.
- Options. DC Health Link has many options to help your small business offer coverage to your employees per your needs and budget.
- Help to Reduce Costs. If you have fewer than 25 full-time equivalents (
FTEs) employees, you may qualify for federal tax credits that can reduce your costs. The tax credit will cover up to 50% of an employer's contribution (or up to 35% for a non-profit organization). Learn more about tax credits.
Transitioning Your Health Benefits to DC Health Link
Many small businesses currently purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company. As of July 1, 2016, those businesses will now renew their policies through DC Health Link. This transition is being closely coordinated by DC Health Link and the health insurance companies, so it's a smooth process for small employers, employees, and their brokers.
Get Expert Help
Health insurance brokers are available to work with small businesses to understand the options and make decisions about health benefits. These brokers are available at no cost to you or your employees. DC Health Link certified brokers have the training and expertise to be able to serve your needs. An advantage of this service is that the relationship with your health insurance broker continues for the lifetime of your health insurance coverage. If you're not working with a broker now, you can choose among DC Health Link certified health insurance brokers to help you with plan selection and enrollment at no cost to you.
I am a broker with the exchange service and can navigate the system for you, find your best options, review and discuss them with you. I will then do most of the work to get things set up according to your choices. When it comes time for annual renewal, I will be there to keep that simple too. If you live in Washington, DC and need the services of a certified registered broker with DC Health Link, contact me.
Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.