Providing health insurance benefits for your employees can play a vital role in attracting and retaining the high-quality workers that your company needs to perform properly and stay competitive. By understanding how the health insurance application process works, you'll be better prepared to make an informed decision about your employees’ benefit package.
Research available group health insurance plans in your area. This is easiest with the assistance of a health insurance broker The broker will take your company’s information and generate quotes for various plans from major health insurance carriers in your region. HealthInsuranceFinders.com explains that a small business health insurance broker in your state may be able to help you understand the differences among various plans. Choose the plan type and benefit features that are most appropriate for your needs and budget.
Complete the paperwork. A group health insurance application must be completed by an authorized officer of your company. This document provides the basic information about your company and initiates the opening of your account with the health insurance carrier. Each employee must also complete his own enrollment form, which contains personal contact information and the details of the people covered by the membership. Those employees who choose not to participate in your corporation’s new health insurance plan must complete a waiver form indicating this choice and in some cases will also be required to provide the details of their existing health coverage.
Provide any additional documentation requested by the insurance company. The health insurance carriers will typically request proof that your organization is an officially recognized entity, a requirement that can be fulfilled with copies of your Articles of Incorporation. Carriers also need to see proof that all employees requesting coverage are actually compensated by the corporation, which can be demonstrated with copies of your most recent quarterly payroll report.
Provide an initial premium check in an amount equal to one month’s premium. Health insurance is always paid in advance, which is why carriers require the submission of the first month’s premium along with the group health insurance application. The check must be from your LLC’s checking or money market account; carriers will not accept personal checks or cash.
Mail all requirements to the health insurance carrier. Most carriers require that new applications be received at least two weeks before the requested effective date of your new coverage. For larger corporations with a significant number of employees, the processing time may be even longer. By providing your paperwork, documentation, and premium payment well in advance of your requested effective date, you allow yourself time to address any questions that may be raised by the insurance company.
In many cases, officers of a corporation do not draw a regular paycheck and are therefore not listed on the quarterly payroll report. To address the issue of demonstrating that compensation is received from your corporation, insurance carriers will usually accept a copy of the previous year’s income tax returns, which should clearly indicate that there was income received for services provided to your company.
Most states have minimum participation requirements before a new company’s health insurance application may be accepted. If too many of your company's employees choose not to participate in the new health insurance plan you are considering, your entire group may be deemed ineligible.