Group size has long been a factor in designing health insurance plans for businesses. The Affordable Care Act is making group size even more important. Whether your business is a small or large group affects your choice of health insurance plans for employees.
Here’s what you need to know about figuring out your group size, and what it means if you offer health insurance to your employees.
Small versus large: it’s 50/50
In 2014, if you have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, your business is a small group. That means the health insurance plan you choose for your employees must meet the same standards as plans for individuals and families. This is required by the Affordable Care Act. All of our small group plans meet these requirements.
We consider your business a large group if you have 51 or more full-time equivalent employees. The Affordable Care Act has different requirements for large groups, and they can choose from a wider selection of plans.
What are full-time equivalent employees?
An employee who works an average of at least 30 hours a week is considered full-time. So if you have 53 employees working 40 hours every week, you have 53 full-time equivalent employees. That means your business is a large group.
It gets a little more complicated if you have part-time or seasonal employees. You can count them so that they add up to full-time equivalents. Here’s a simplified formula:
- Add the total hours worked in a month by all part-time employees.
- Divide by 120.
- The result is the number of full-time equivalent employees.
Knowing how many full-time equivalent employees you have is important. They determine your status as a small or large group. You should get legal advice if you’re not sure how to figure this out.
Source: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan