Other than an employee’s take-home pay, health insurance coverage is one of the most common and most important benefits that may be provided by their employer. Depending on what the nature of your business is, you may or may not be required to offer your employees health coverage, but it may be a perk they will look for when considering your business as an employer. Because the rules and regulations regarding what health insurance benefits employers must provide are constantly changing, it is a good idea to keep up with the news regarding health care as it pertains to businesses. Start by reading over the four typical health insurance-related inquiries below.
1. Question: What do I need to know if I’m considering offering health care coverage to my employees?
If you’re wondering whether your business should make health care coverage part of the benefits package, you will likely want to look into the plans and scenarios that make sense according to the size of your company, your financial standing, and the desires and needs of your employees. Though you may have the company’s highest intentions in mind when planning to acquire health benefits for your team, it may be beneficial to consult a legal professional or health care expert before taking the plunge, as there are a great deal of compliance factors to deal with once you become a benefits provider.
2. Question: How do I make sure I’m complying with anti-discrimination laws in regard to coverage?
As an employer, you are forbidden by law to make any discriminatory actions or decisions toward employees who are protected under the anti-discrimination laws that pertain to health care. Of course, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, genetics, and disability are all factors that cannot influence or determine the nature of an employee’s benefits. Employers are likewise not permitted to provide differential coverage to those who are pregnant or those who are older.
3. Question: What are my employee’s insurance rights if they leave their employment?
Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), employees have rights to health insurance even after taking involuntary leave from their employer. According to federal law, those employees who are laid off or fired for any reason other than “˜gross misconduct’ are permitted to remain on their employer’s health care plan for as long as 18 months. During this period, however, the employer is not required to pay subsidies for part of the plan’s premium, so the employee may incur a higher cost.
4. Question: Are there any regulations regarding employer health benefits for seniors?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is the provision that allows for regulations regarding pensions and health insurance for older employees. This federal governing manages the laws that deal with keeping plan participants informed as to their health coverage status, letting them know their rights and any changes to their plan, and working with the desires and interests of those with coverage. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prevents older employees from getting any negative treatment and enables them to receive fair and equal health coverage.
Health care is a complex issue, and employers must take many steps to ensure they are offering the appropriate amount of coverage, complying with all applicable federal laws, and providing insurance benefits through the standard channels. If you have specific questions about the health benefits you are offering or are considering offering your employees, it is helpful to speak with a legal or health care professional who can help you fine tune solutions based on the size and needs of your business. Because there are so many stipulations and clauses that go hand-in-hand with employer health plan programs, make sure to get informed and stay informed as regulations shift.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.