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Health Insurance for Remote Teams in Small Businesses

June 1, 2024

Having health insurance is a major asset for a small business. Employees who have health insurance are more productive, are more loyal to their employers, and have greater peace of mind knowing their medical needs are covered. But what about buying health insurance for remote workers? Luckily, being a hybrid or remote company can still offer the same benefits, but you will need to consider the location of employees when choosing a small business health insurance plan.

The Landscape of Remote Work in Florida

After the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to go remote, many continued to keep the model. More businesses began taking a remote-first approach to their work culture. Employees actively seek positions that let them work from home in lieu of commuting to and from an office every day.

In 2022, more than 16% of Floridians worked from home. Nationally, 17.9% of Americans worked remotely, compared to just 5.7% in 2019. The massive shift from on-site to remote work has changed the way businesses operate on nearly every level. They have a greater dependence on technology, and they have had to reassess their workflows to ensure they can still work efficiently without being on the same property (or even in the same time zone) as their employees.

Although remote work can present some technical challenges, it also has benefits. Lower operating expenses, greater work flexibility, and higher employee satisfaction levels can all contribute to a thriving business. At the same time, remote employers must be aware of how their structure can impact health insurance requirements.

Understanding the Health Insurance Needs of Remote Teams

Health insurance for remote workers can differ from the policies that cover in-office employees due to location. Remote employers who hire people out of their state have to ensure that they choose a provider that has widespread coverage. Employers must also be aware of any local regulations affecting their employees to ensure they offer compliant plans.

Group coverage for remote workers can be similar to plans for in-office employees. Group plans lower health insurance costs by leveraging the buying power of the entire staff. While in-office employees tend to only receive coverage in their geographic region, policies for remote workers must be extensive enough to ensure employees in different states have access to a good range of healthcare providers.

Health Insurance for In-State vs. Out-of-State Employees

The same health insurance options are available for remote and in-office employees, but location plays a major role in determining what type of coverage you can offer. Some employers choose to only hire remote workers in their state to get around this challenge. Others expand their coverage options by working with a major insurance provider who has networks across the country.

In addition to group health insurance for small businesses, you can also explore health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), and health stipends to offer more flexible coverage options for out-of-state employees.

Just keep in mind employers with 50 or more full-time employees are legally required to offer some form of coverage. Although smaller businesses do not need to offer health insurance, many choose to do so anyway to attract more talent and boost employee satisfaction.

Key Considerations for Florida Small Businesses

When choosing health insurance as a small business, keeping costs manageable is crucial. You want to ensure that your business prioritizes comprehensive coverage without charging employees too much or overpaying in contributions.

The plan structure you choose can have a major impact on premiums, so it is important to consider the needs of your employees before deciding on a provider. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) offer lower premiums, but they can also have more limited coverage options and more frequent out-of-pocket costs for policyholders. PPOs, on the other hand, tend to have higher premiums but greater flexibility, thanks to both in-network and out-of-network coverage.

Businesses must also cover the range of coverages a plan offers. In addition to mandated essential services, are there additional benefits to the health insurance plan? Are family plans affordable? Is the average premium reasonable considering the typical employee’s income after taxes?

These questions and other factors are important to consider before buying health insurance. For more information, check out our blog post, “Key Factors for Choosing a Small Business Health Plan in Florida”.

Strategies for Offering Competitive Health Insurance Benefits

Finding the right health insurance for remote workers in Florida requires a thoughtful approach to balance cost-effectiveness with thorough coverage. There are several ways to ensure you find the right type of health insurance for your employees:

  • Assess employees’ needs. Given the age, family size, and pre-existing conditions, employees need flexible coverage to cover their medical expenses. Consider health risks they may have and ensure you choose a plan that provides coverage for both emergencies and routine healthcare.
  • Offer customization. Rigid health insurance plans can be so restrictive that employees opt out of coverage altogether. Look for options that allow policyholders to customize their health insurance and build a plan that suits their needs. This is most typically done through tiers, in which deductibles and premiums change based on an employee’s preferences.
  • Check for telehealth services. Telehealth services offer convenient medical care to employees around the country, making it a great option for remote-first companies. You could consider offering an HSA/HRA or health stipend to cover the cost of an employee’s membership with a telehealthcare provider.
  • Consider cost-saving strategies like HDHPs. High-deductible health plans can offer lower premiums and essential coverage for employees in good general health. Pairing an HDHP with a health savings account can lead to further savings and tax benefits.
  • Offer flexible spending accounts (FSAs). FSAs let employees set aside a portion of their pre-tax income for medical expenses.

Work With a Qualified Small Business Health Insurance Agent

The team at Live Health understands the legal requirements and nuances of finding the right coverage for a diverse staff. We help thousands of people every year discover the right health insurance policy for their needs. When it comes to getting the best small business health insurance for your remote employees, we can offer personalized quotes to help you get the best coverage for an ideal price.

Contact us today to connect with a Florida health insurance agent.

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