Group Health Insurance in North Carolina
Group health insurance is purchased by an NC employer and is offered to eligible employees of the company (and often to the employees' family members) as a benefit of working for that company. A group health insurance plan is a key component of many employee benefits packages that employers provide for employees.
Why purchase group health insurance in North Carolina?
One of your major challenges as a small business owner is finding an attractive but cost-effective solution to your employees’ health insurance needs. It’s something to take seriously; employees everywhere in North Carolina consistently rank the quality of their health plan second only to the length of their paid vacations.
Offering group health insurance can help you hire and retain the best workers in Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Raleigh, or whichever area of NC you happen to be located in, and the amount you pay toward employee premiums may be tax-deductible. Since no one can be turned down based on medical history, group coverage also protects workers or family members who might otherwise go uninsured.
Group Health Insurance Options
Group Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPOs)
PPO health insurance plans are the most popular plans available today. They offer co-pays for such things as doctor office visits, prescription drugs, and emergency room visits. There is a comprehensive health care network of medical providers that are covered by the Preferred Provider Organization plan. A PPO plan offers you more choice. Selecting a primary care physician isn’t required, and you can visit a specialist without a referral.
Group High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs)
A health plan product that, when combined with an HSA, provides insurance coverage and a tax-advantaged way to help save for future medical expenses. High-deductible health plans have a higher annual deductible than traditional health plans and must meet other specific federal guidelines. High deductible plans can be a great option for small businesses because they offer a lower monthly cost for you and your employees.
Health Savings Account (HSA)
An HSA is a tax-free way to help pay for current or future out-of-pocket health care expenses. To be eligible to open an HSA and begin saving money for medical expenses tax-free, you must be covered by a high-deductible health plan. An HSA can be established through a custodian or trustee and used with your high-deductible health plan to pay for out-of-pocket expenses. Dollars that are not used in a given year roll over into the next year and are completely portable should you change jobs or switch health coverage.
Flex Spending Arrangement (FSA)
An FSA can be used to cover qualified medical expenses and dependent day care expenses. You pre-determine an amount you will contribute at the beginning of the benefits period. Contributions to your FSA are tax-free and made through salary reduction. Any funds not used by the end of the benefits period are forfeited. This is known as the “use it or lose it” rule. FSAs can be offered in tandem with an HRA.
Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs)
An HRA is an account offered to employees or retirees, where you can use the money to pay for deductible and co-insurance amounts or covered medical expenses. Like an HSA, leftover dollars generally can be used from year-to-year, as long as you continue to be a member of the plan. Also, the money is contributed by your employer and doesn’t count as income, saving you valuable tax dollars.
Contact us to discuss health insurance options for your business!