Business Health Insurance Plans Designed to Fit Any Size Business and Budget.
Health insurance can help protect employees and their families with coverage for wellness visits, prescription drugs, emergencies, mental health benefits, and chronic conditions. We leverage our group’s buying power to give you access to great vision, dental, and medical insurance — all at low rates typically only accessible to large corporations.
Now it is more convenient than ever to purchase small business health insurance coverage for your employees.
It shouldn’t be complicated or stressful to shop health insurance for small business. By requesting a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas health insurance quote, you begin your journey to available, affordable, and attainable health coverage for your employees.
Invest in your own health and the health of your employees
As an employer, you’ll join a group health plan with a larger health network and more health care options. So, you ensure better health care for you and your family as well as your team.
Health Savings Account
One way to help employees manage and save for health care related expenses is through a health savings account (HSA). An HSA is a helpful, cost-effective financial tool for those with qualifying high-deductible health insurance plans to cover out-of-pocket costs.
- An HSA is different from a flexible savings account, yet a recent survey found that 65% didn’t know the difference.
- You don’t lose your HSA, even if you change health plans or jobs, or retire.
- Your HSA funds roll over to the next year, so you don’t have to worry about using your funds before the year ends.
- HSAs provide three different tax advantages: contributions are pre-tax, these contributions can be used tax-free for qualified expenses and HSA funds and investments accrue interest tax-free.
A surveys show that 83% of employers make contributions to HSAs, and doing so can be a powerful recruitment and retention tool. Not only are you helping employees save money and maintain better control of their health care costs, but you can help your bottom line too with FICA tax savings from these pre-tax contributions.
Critical Illness Insurance for your Employees
Critical illness can be difficult – recovery doesn’t have to be. When a serious illness strikes, help your employees focus on getting better, and worry less about medical bills. Even with medical coverage, out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, room and board, childcare or treatment options can quickly add up. Supplemental health benefits such as critical illness coverage can offer a cost-effective solution to provide the additional coverage employees and their families need to bounce back from a health setback so they can be whole again – body, mind and wallet.
How it Works for your Employees
- Pays a lump-sum to the covered person for diagnosis of a covered critical illness or specified disease condition.
- No restrictions on how the money can be used and, depending on plan design, coverage can provide additional protection for later diagnosed conditions.
- Supplements your medical plan – Benefits are separate from medical plan, do not coordinate, and are paid directly to you.
- Cost-effective coverage. Benefits offered on an employee-paid basis and employees sign up at economical group rates – so they typically pay less for coverage than if they tried to purchase coverage individually.
- Convenience. No copays, deductibles, coinsurance restrictions or network requirements to worry about and premiums are deducted from employee paychecks.
- Benefits are portable. Employees can keep their coverage if they leave their employer.
What is disability insurance?
Disability insurance is a special type of insurance that protects your ability to earn a paycheck in the event that you experience a serious illness or injury. Disability insurance is not designed to provide benefits if you miss a week of work due to the flu. Instead, it provides coverage after a predetermined waiting period (called the elimination period) for conditions that would keep you from working for extended periods of time. Disability insurance is generally categorized as short-term and long-term, and each type of insurance has unique benefit periods, elimination periods, and benefit amounts.
|Short-term Disability||Long-term Disability|
|Typically 3, 6, or 12 months||Typically 2, 5, or 10 years; can be for life on some policies|
|Elimination Period||7-30 days; 14 days is most common||90 days on most standard policies; insured can choose a longer elimination period to lower premiums|
|Benefit Amount||40-70% of
|60-80% of lost wages|
|Average Cost of Coverage||1-3% of your pre-tax
|1-3% of your pre-tax salary|
|Where to Get Coverage||Employer-sponsored plans,
supplemental policies, or private coverage
|Employer-sponsored plans, supplemental policies, or private coverage|
What is short-term disability?
Short-term disability is a type of voluntary insurance that replaces part or all of an employee's income in the event of a temporary disability. Typically, this insurance policy is paid in full or in part by the employer, and the employee must be unable to perform their normal work duties, due to illness or injury, to qualify for benefits under the policy.
Although this coverage may seem similar to workers' compensation coverage, the two coverage types have very different applications. Workers' compensation provides coverage when the illness or injury occurred at work or as a direct result of work activities, whereas short-term disability will provide coverage even when the employee is injured outside the workplace. Generally, an employee cannot qualify for benefits under both workers' compensation and short-term disability for the same incident at the same time.
What is long-term disability?
Long-term disability is an insurance plan that often works in tandem with short-term disability to provide income for long-term illnesses and injuries. Once short-term disability benefits are exhausted, a long-term disability policy continues to provide the employee with some income until they can return to work.
Long-term disability works in much the same way as short-term disability. Once a plan is in place, the employee must provide medical proof of a qualifying illness or injury lasting beyond the long-term disability elimination period. Once the burden of proof has been met, the employee can begin receiving the benefits specified in the policy. Benefits will continue until the employee is medically cleared to return to work or has exhausted the policy benefits.
Attract and retain top-notch talent
A survey found that employees viewed health insurance as the most important benefit they receive from their employer. Offering coverage to employees can help businesses compete for the best employees and keep them working.
Options for you and your team
Employers sponsoring coverage as a group can access coverage from a broad network of providers, benefit plans, and network options. This means employers, employees and their families can access care when and where they need, reducing time away from the business.
A study found that 60% of employers linked offering health insurance to higher productivity levels. This in turn can help keep employees happy, healthy, and productive!
Save on taxes
Offering health insurance could present tax advantages to the business in the form of deductions and payroll tax benefits as well as the possibility for employees to use pre-tax dollars for their portions of the premium.
Employees cite dental or vision insurance as the third most important benefit in making a job decision, behind only health insurance and a retirement savings plan.
The Affordable Care Act mandated that employers with 50 or more full-time employees provide some form of HS or pay a penalty fee.
Dental Benefits for Employee
Keeping your employees’ smiles healthy keeps workers productive and can even lower medical care costs. This means finding a high-quality dental plan that pays dividends to both employees and employers.
Dental care can help combat secondary health problems that arise from poor dental maintenance.
Diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease tend to cause high-cost medical claims. And high-cost medical claims increase the cost of your group health insurance premiums.
As an employer, you know that group health insurance is expensive. For most employers, it’s their second or third largest expense after payroll.
When your employees develop serious diseases, you can expect your group health costs to rise. Managing your group health claims is the number one way to control your group health insurance premiums. And who doesn’t want to keep these costs lower?
By providing dental insurance for your employees, you incent them to take care of their oral health. And as demonstrated above, taking good care of your teeth and gums can also help prevent secondary health problems from arising.
Bottom line: Incenting your employees to use routine dental care can reduce your employees’ high-cost medical claims, directly impacting your group health costs.
Vision Benefits for your Employees
The need for vision care is so prevalent, it can be easy to overlook. 76% of adults use some form of vision correction (and 25% of children). When you think about your employees, it’s likely that the majority of them are in need of vision correction, whether for themselves or for a family member.
Additionally, with the effects of aging and the increase in screen usage, vision care will only become more important. Vision benefits make it easier and more affordable to get much-needed eye care.
Vision insurance policies typically cover routine eye examinations and discounts for the purchase of corrective eyewear. Some policies also contribute dollars towards laser corrective surgery and other procedures.
Offering employees these benefits-especially if they are at risk of digital eye strain through long hours in front of a computer screen-sends a message that you care about their health and well-being. Offering this extra perk differentiates your organization from run-of-the-mill companies that do not invest in health, and it boosts staff recruitment and retention.
Reasons to offer Employee Benefits
83 percent of employees say health insurance is very or extremely important in deciding whether to stay in or change jobs
74 percent of small business employees see health insurance as a “must-have” benefit
66 percent of employers offering and measuring wellness efforts report increased productivity
Life Insurance as an Employee Benefit
Types of life insurance policies
Life insurance products vary in purpose and complexity. The following descriptions provide basic information regarding some of the policy provisions typically associated with certain types of policies.
The simplest form of life insurance is term insurance that provides insurance protection in the event of death (a death benefit) if the death occurs during a specified period of time (referred to as the “term” of the policy). Term life insurance is considered “temporary insurance” because it pays a specific sum (the “face amount”) to the insured’s designated beneficiary if the insured dies within the period covered by the policy. The primary disadvantage to a term life insurance policy is that the insured’s beneficiaries are entitled to death benefits only if the insured dies during the term while the policy is in effect.
Whole life insurance, on the other hand, can provide permanent life insurance protection for the insured’s entire life, usually up to age 100 (subject to compliance with the policy’s terms). A whole life policy is contractually guaranteed not to lapse, provided that sufficient premiums are paid each year to keep the policy in force. Besides permanent lifetime insurance protection, whole life insurance typically features a savings element that allows the insured to build cash value on a tax-deferred basis. A portion of the premiums paid are used to build up the savings element of the policy and are invested by the insurance company. The interest rate return on the insurer’s investment is added to the savings portion of the policy. This is how the policy builds cash value. The following three most common types of whole life insurance are:
- Traditional whole life - Traditional whole life insurance policies have a savings element (cash value) that grows tax-deferred in investments selected by the insurance company. If the contract is set up properly in advance, the insured can build up enough cash value to stop paying premiums by a certain age, or to borrow from the cash value (take a policy loan) during his/her lifetime on a tax-advantaged basis. Generally, whole life insurance premiums do not increase during the insured’s lifetime (as long as the insured pays the planned amount and repays any policy loans). One disadvantage to a traditional whole life policy is that it does not offer premium or face amount flexibility since the policy terms (face amount and premium) remain fixed for life.
- Universal life - Universal life insurance is a flexible-premium, adjustable benefit, life insurance policy. Like traditional whole life insurance, universal life insurance features a savings element that grows on a tax-deferred basis. A portion of each premium is invested by the insurance company, often in bonds, mortgages, and money market funds. Universal life insurance policies generally guarantee a minimum rate of return, which means that, no matter how the investments perform, the insurance company will guarantee a certain minimum return on the insured’s money. If the insurance company does well with its investments, the interest rate return on the accumulated cash value will increase. The accumulated cash value may be used as a source of retirement income, or allow premium leveling (enabling the insured to pay a flat premium for life but to use the cash value to offset the increased cost of insurance as the individual ages), or provide for a vanishing premium (that is, to pay premiums for a period of time that are sufficient to build a cash value to pay all future premiums after a fixed period in time). However, if the policyholder borrows against the cash value, or if the insurance company’s investments perform poorly, the cash value may not grow sufficiently to cover future premium payments and the insured will have to continue to pay premiums to keep the coverage in force.
- Variable life - Variable life insurance is called “variable” because it allows the insured to allocate a portion of the premium dollars to a separate account comprised of various investment funds within the insurance company’s portfolio, such as an equity fund, a money market fund, a bond fund, or some combination thereof. Hence, the value of the death benefit and the cash value may fluctuate up or down, depending on the performance of the investment portion of the policy. Although most variable life insurance policies guarantee that the death benefit will not fall below a specified minimum, a minimum cash value is seldom guaranteed. A variable life insurance policy is considered a securities contract because of the investment risks that are built into the policy. As a result, it is regulated as a security under federal securities laws.
Types of life insurance benefits you can offer
Most employers offer group-term life insurance as an employee benefit, although other types can be offered. Term insurance is life insurance that is in effect for a certain period of time only. Generally, in the case of employer-provided term life insurance, the term is for as long as the employee is employed. Group-term life insurance can be offered to employees only, not to their spouses and children.
To take advantage of the tax deduction for group-term life insurance (i.e., the value of up to $50,000 in insurance is tax-exempt for the employee), you must have at least 10 full-time employees. The 10-employee restriction does not apply if you provide coverage to all full-time employees, the method for computing the amounts of insurance is set (such as a uniform percentage of the employee's yearly salary), and no physical exams are required to obtain coverage.
There are other types of insurance that you can offer besides group-term life, including:
- Group accidental death and dismemberment. Commonly known in the industry as "AD&D," this coverage pays benefits to the employee's beneficiary if death occurs due to an accident or if the employee loses use of portions of the body (loss of one arm and leg, for example, may result in payment of a percentage of the total benefits).
- Business travel accident insurance. This insurance covers only a narrow occurrence — the death of the employee while traveling on business. If your employees don't travel or don't travel much, this may not be worth your money.
- Split-dollar life insurance. This insurance pays the employee's beneficiary when the employee dies and returns the premiums paid to the employer. The insurance is paid by both the employer and employee and has a substantial investment element to it. It is something to consider for key employees only, as opposed to your entire employee group.
Advantages of group term life insurance
Employer-provided group term life insurance offers a number of advantages over individual term life insurance. Some of these advantages include the following:
- Protection furnished at a minimum cost so that even if the employees pay 100% of the premium, they still experience savings
- Protection provided for families of employees who may be uninsurable due to health status because evidence of insurability is generally not required if an employee enrolls when they are first eligible for coverage
- More affordable, group-rated premiums for older employees
- Exclusion of the cost of the first $50,000 of employer-paid group term life insurance from the employee’s taxable income.
Note: Even though group term life coverage is usually guaranteed when an employee elects the benefit when first eligible, most plans reserve the right to deny or limit coverage to employees who decline coverage when first eligible, but who subsequently apply for coverage.