If you are looking for insurance for a group between 2 and 50 people, small group insurance in New Jersey might be right for you. In New Jersey, all group health insurers are required to write policies for small groups, and they cannot refuse to insure individual employees due to a health condition. Some of the carriers that offer small group plans in New Jersey are Amerihealth, Horizon, and Oxford.
Small group insurance is the designation given to a group coverage plan when the group is between 2 and 50 people. This type of plan is typically available to employers, members of associations, retirees, or labor unions. A small group health insurance plan will provide care for you and your employees. This type of plan helps to spread financial risk among the members, which can result in lower premiums and more comprehensive coverage for all members. Group coverage typically costs less than individual coverage, which you have to buy on your own.
New Jersey is one of the most expensive places in the country to buy health insurance because medical underwriting is not allowed, even on the individual market. Because insurance companies are not allowed to adjust prices on most products for age, gender, smoking habits, and health status, prices tend to be very expensive even for the young and healthy.
There can be tax advantages to group health insurance. Employer contributions to a small business health insurance plan are generally 100% tax deductible, and employees can save on payroll taxes. Small businesses, and certain organizations like non-profits, are generally eligible for group health insurance so long as they can show two or more full-time taxable employees. To count as full time they must work at least 30 hours a week.
In many states, an insurer can include a waiting period in which certain pre-existing conditions aren’t covered. In New Jersey, they many not impose a pre-existing condition waiting period of more than 6 months on any group member. They must also reduce or eliminate the waiting period in accordance with the employee’s prior “credible coverage.”
Should something happen and you are going to lose your group insurance, there is a Federal program in place to help. Through COBRA you can extend your coverage for up to 18 months if you lose your job, your hours are cut, of if you change jobs and have a waiting period before your new health insurance plan starts. You will have to pay the full premium yourself during this period, which your employer was previously paying. COBRA also can help your spouse, former spouse, or any children keep their insurance if your job ends, you get a divorce, or in the event of your death.
In some states, group coverage is defined as a group of 1 to 50 employees, but most states do require businesses to have at least 2 employees. Oftentimes businesses with few employees face very specific and strict requirements to prove they are legitimate businesses. This is to help prevent fraud.
Sole Proprietors are often referred to as groups of one. In the states where groups of one cannot obtain group coverage, the business owner often is forced to buy individual health insurance.