Small Business Health Insurance in Illinois
If you own a small business in Illinois, it may be time to consider purchasing health insurance for your business. In addition to a personal policy, many plans offer group insurance and allow employers to pool their employees to get better rates. In addition, some policies offer tax credits to small businesses. Here are some things to consider when buying your first health insurance plan:
Tax credit for small businesses
If you own a small business in Illinois, you can take advantage of a tax credit to reduce the cost of hiring new employees. This credit is equal to fifty percent of the income tax withholdings from new employees. It is a nonrefundable tax credit that is phased out in 2025. However, you should not wait until that time to apply for this tax break. While you can apply now, it is important to understand the rules and eligibility requirements.
First, you must hire new full-time employees to qualify for the tax credit. The new employee cannot be an employee of a subsidiary or other business in another state. Additionally, the new employee cannot have previously worked for the business. The credit is also not available to those who are former employees of the business or who are 5% owners or “related” to the owner. Nevertheless, this credit is worth the extra effort if you hire a new employee, so don’t let the tax code limit you!
Another tax credit for small businesses in Illinois is the R&D tax credit. This credit is available to small businesses that invest in research and development (R&D) activities. The credit applies to businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Companies engaging in R&D activities include developing proprietary products and manufacturing processes, or improving existing business processes. These activities may result in a tax credit equal to five percent of the business’s total income.
Pooling of employees to negotiate better rates
Small businesses in Illinois can now pool their employees to get better rates on their health insurance. A law signed on May 28 allows small employers to negotiate better health insurance rates. The law is called SB 4014. It encourages small employers to buy health insurance and helps them save money. The new law is set to go into effect in 2014.
The law allows small businesses to participate in CO-OPs and SHOP exchanges, which are state-based health insurance purchasing pools. In Illinois, small businesses have to employ less than 500 employees in order to be eligible. About half of states allow this type of insurance, but the state may limit participation to firms with 50 or fewer employees. Larger companies are grandfathered in, so they will have to purchase coverage for their employees separately.
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Small businesses in Illinois can obtain a group health plan at an affordable rate. There are several carriers that offer group health plans, and the cost per employee can range anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on their age and the type of plan chosen. If your company is a sole proprietorship, you might consider enrolling your employees in a PPO plan. Blue Cross Blue Shield has a large network of hospitals and medical providers that accepts these plans.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois has recently been named America’s best insurance company by Forbes magazine. The company provides small businesses with group health insurance that ensures access to Chicago Teaching hospitals. Individual health insurance plans no longer cover treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, Lurie Children’s hospital, or University of Chicago medical center. However, small group health insurance policies still give you access to national PPO networks and Chicago teaching hospitals.
The best small business health insurance provider should offer competitive rates, flexible coverage options, and a large network of medical providers. These insurance companies can help you navigate the complexities of health insurance plans, which is a common concern for small business owners. Whether you are a sole proprietor or have fifty or more employees, offering health insurance is a benefit that employees often appreciate. However, you may need to find affordable health insurance coverage for the company’s employees to reap the maximum benefits.