Employee Health Insurance Rules in the US

If you are an employer in the US, you must offer health insurance to all eligible employees when they become eligible for coverage. According to the IRS (PDF, 40.4 KB), there is a 90-day waiting period for this. If you have more than 50 full and part-time employees, you are legally required to provide group health insurance to your staff. This means that you must offer coverage to at least 95% of your full-time employees and their dependents.

Full-time employees are those who work more than 30 hours a week. A group health plan is an employee social benefit plan established or maintained by an employer or employee organization (such as a union), or both, that provides health care to participants or their dependents directly or through insurance, reimbursement, or otherwise. Most private sector health plans are covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This law provides protection to participants and beneficiaries of employee benefit plans (participant rights), including providing access to plan information.

In addition, people who administer plans (and other fiduciaries) must comply with certain standards of conduct under the fiduciary responsibilities specified in the law. The general rule is that if an employer offers group health coverage to any full-time employee, it must offer coverage to all full-time employees (defined as those who work 30 or more hours a week). If your employer offers group health insurance, you have the right to continue with it after you leave your job. Under most state health insurance laws for employers (and insurers that offer small group health insurance), employers must pay at least 50 percent of the health insurance premium for each enrolled employee.

Cornelius Maxon
Cornelius Maxon

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