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Start Planning Your Health Coverage Before You Have 50 Employees

Employee Benefits package (summary of benefits) and health insurance document

Under the employer mandate terms of the Affordable Care Act, you have to start providing health insurance once you have fifty full-time employees. While there are a few qualifiers and exceptions to this rule, there’s not a lot of wiggle room once it applies to your company. So don’t risk delays or get trapped in an expensive plan. Start planning early. Ask yourself these three questions to get your planning started:

Do you really need fifty employees or more?

Growth is good, but you always have to evaluate whether your business is growing too far or too fast. Adding to your workforce is a hefty investment, especially when you pass the minimum threshold for providing coverage. Before you create more postings on any job boards, see if automated software or freelance contractors can help you get the growth you want.

What kind of plan is the best fit for you and your employees?

If you know that the number of full-time, or full-time equivalent (FTE), employees has to grow, research the different options that count as coverage. Providing HDHP plans with HSAs or PPOs with FSAs are common options, especially as you get larger. Providing standard benefits packages will draw in professionals with more experience. But they’re also more expensive than options like a Health Reimbursement Agreement (HRA). With an HRA, you reimburse employees for their qualified expenses under a set cap instead of paying for most of a set plan cost.

How can you make sure you’re making the right choices?

The third question you should ask yourself is about liability. How do you know you’re following the ACA mandates? What’s the best way to avoid penalties but also provide coverage that won’t bankrupt your company. Unless your company is growing to include a dedicated HR team, consider a third-party HR management service or consultant. They can help ensure that you’re compliant with ACA and other requirements that your expanding company might now be held to.

Whether your company is currently growing or you want to stimulate more growth, keep reading at Tangram here.

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