Companies of all sizes pride themselves on offering health insurance with their employees’ jobs. It is an enormous perk, one that can’t be underestimated, and something that those searching for full-time jobs have come to expect. But with small businesses and those that employ remote workers on the rise, it can be common to question how many employees are needed to qualify for a group health insurance plan.
To be eligible for group health insurance (which is often cheaper than individual plans), a company must have between one and 50 employees. This allows companies to apply for small group coverage, and those with more than 50 employees can only apply for large group coverage. But, there are other requirements.
Requirements Beyond the Number of Employees for Group Insurance
In addition to the right number of employees, you need to satisfy the following requirements:
Certified Office Space.
Another key necessity to qualifying for group health insurance is that you must have a certified office or workspace in the state in which you are applying for group coverage.
One of the Employees Cannot Be the Owner.
Additionally, the only covered member cannot be the owner of the company — they cannot also be the spouse of the owner or member of the owner’s family. If your company is one that you and a spouse run as the sole employees, you would need to apply for coverage through a MEWA plan until other workers unrelated to the owners join the staff. But once you have enough employees to qualify for group coverage, the market would open up.
Full Time Employees.
Employees must work on a full-time basis. Insurance cannot be offered to part-time workers, but it is not necessary to as they won’t count toward your minimum to qualify for group coverage. Your full-time employees are considered those who work at least 25 hours per week. Note that seasonal employees do not count, even if they are indeed working for 25 hours during their term of employment.
Companies accepting group coverage are also required to enroll at least 75 percent of eligible employees. Those with differing insurance plans do not count toward this minimum rule, and know that enrollment happens annually usually in the month prior to the group’s renewal.