Best Small Business Health Insurance

best small business health insurance

A small business owner easily might become overwhelmed when it comes time to buy health insurance. With so many types of small business health insurance from which to choose, and so many companies offering those benefits, where is one to begin selecting health insurance? After all, there are a lot of health insurance acronyms to understand.

Fortunately, the decision to purchase health insurance doesn’t have to be a daunting one. With just a little bit of knowledge and some basic information about small business health insurance companies, small business owners can make the best decisions for their companies and their employees

Types of Small Business Health Insurance

Before small business owners can understand the different health insurance options and various health insurance premiums, they must first understand the different types of small business health insurance plans. There are a few types of small business health insurance, each with its own benefits, deductibles and costs.

  • HMO Plans – Health management organization (HMO) plans are limited health insurance plans with the goal of cutting healthcare costs. HMO plans work great for healthy individuals who are on a tighter budget and who are comfortable only visiting doctors within a prescribed network of healthcare providers.
  • PPO Plans – Under preferred provider organizations (PPOs), patients have access to a larger network of doctors and more flexible care options, but they also typically pay higher costs for premiums and care. PPO plans are great for those who want to shop around for doctors, who are comfortable with and able to spend more, and who might need specialized care for a medical condition.
  • POS Plans – A point of service (POS) plan combines the benefits of an HMO and a PPO. While customers still need a specialist’s referral from a primary care physician, they pay less for out-of-network medical visits. The cost of a POS generally falls somewhere in between an HMO and a PPO.
  • EPO Plans – When consumers rely on an exclusive provider organization (EPO) plan for health insurance, they are encouraged to remain within their healthcare provider network, but they don’t need to get a referral if they choose to venture beyond it. The cost-effective health insurance option offers extra flexibility to small businesses.
  • HDHP – A high deductible health plan can be a risk for those that are uncomfortable paying out of pocket for medical care. The high deductible means the plan won’t start paying toward healthcare costs until the patient has incurred at least $1,300 in expenses. These plans can be offset by establishing health savings accounts through the federal government. HSA for small businesses is a tax-advantaged account that can be contributed to by both employers and employees in conjunction with an HDHP.

Best Small Business Health Insurance

Choosing the Best Small Business Health Insurance Plans

While understanding the different types of group health insurance plans will help small business owners when selecting health insurance, choosing health insurance coverage still remains a challenge for many small business owners. What do various health insurance plans have to offer, which is the best health insurance company, and how much does small business health insurance cost from various sources? Some health insurance providers might even offer additional options like self-employed health insurance, health savings accounts, benefits of dental insurance, and vision insurance coverage.

Navigating Health Insurance for Small Businesses: Our Methodology

As small business owners, we know that finding the right health insurance is more than a corporate necessity—it’s a vital component of employee well-being and business success. With an array of options clouding the decision-making process, we cut through the fog to bring clarity on what truly matters. In this section, we lay out the essential criteria to weigh when selecting the best small business health insurance plan. Each one is rated on a scale of one to ten, with ten being reserved for the most important elements. Here’s how we break it down:

  • Coverage Scope and Limits:
    • Scale of Importance: 9/10
    • Plans must provide comprehensive coverage that meets your employees’ health needs without imposing restrictive limits.
  • Cost to Value Ratio:
    • Scale of Importance: 8/10
    • The plan should offer a fair balance between cost and the benefits received, ensuring it’s a sound investment.
  • Provider Network:
    • Scale of Importance: 7/10
    • A wide network of healthcare providers ensures your employees have access to numerous quality care options.
  • Flexibility and Customization:
    • Scale of Importance: 7/10
    • The ability to tailor plans to suit diverse employee needs can greatly enhance satisfaction and coverage effectiveness.
  • Ease of Use and Administration:
    • Scale of Importance: 8/10
    • Insurance should not be a maze; straightforward management and utilization are key for time-strapped small businesses.
  • Customer Support:
    • Scale of Importance: 6/10
    • Access to responsive customer service can streamline the resolution of issues and provide necessary guidance.
  • Policyholder Reviews and Satisfaction:
    • Scale of Importance: 7/10
    • Feedback from current policyholders can give insights into the real-world application and satisfaction with the insurance.
  • Additional Benefits and Wellness Programs:
    • Scale of Importance: 5/10
    • Programs that promote health and wellness can be invaluable, contributing to overall employee health and productivity.
CriteriaScale of Importance
Coverage Scope and Limits9/10
Cost to Value Ratio8/10
Provider Network7/10
Flexibility and Customization7/10
Ease of Use and Administration8/10
Customer Support6/10
Policyholder Reviews and Satisfaction7/10
Additional Benefits and Wellness Programs5/10

Best Small Business Health Insurance

Best Small Business Health Insurance Companies

What are the best health insurance providers for small businesses in 2022? Small business owners must consider a variety of factors when choosing the best health insurance company, including coverage, flexibility and cost. Most health insurance companies will offer similar plans, but each will feature unique elements and pricing. A small business owner might want to offer a health insurance option that includes dental insurance or even vision benefits, or they might seek the most affordable options or the best health insurance provider for overall general health coverage.

1. United Healthcare

Best For: Extensive coverage

Often chosen as the best health insurance for small business owners, United Healthcare features a large number of in-network providers and thousands of facilities throughout all 50 U.S. states. The health insurance provider makes substantial investments in technology to meet consumer demands, and it offers effective group coverage with a large scope and positive cost to value ratio for a variety of small businesses.

2. Blue Cross Blue Shield

Best For: Data-driven healthcare solutions

Other popular health insurance providers for small businesses include Blue Cross Blue Shield, which operates through the 36 local and independent health insurance companies in all U.S. states. Health benefits from Blue Cross Blue Shield are effective options for small business owners because the brand is trusted by millions of small businesses and their employees, and the health insurance plan is one of the nation’s most popular PPO networks, with a large coverage scope and generally positive reviews.

3. Humana

Best For: Preventative care advantages

Providing health insurance as a small business can become a reality by choosing Humana as a small business health insurance provider. One of the largest insurance providers in America, Humana’s plans are known for their preventative care coverage and convenient plan features like wellness rewards. Humana makes it possible to offer health insurance by offering a variety of affordable plans for small business owners and their employees.

Best Small Business Health Insurance

4. Kaiser Permanente

Best For: Affordability

Small business owners in eight U.S. states and the District of Columbia can choose an affordable small business health plan from Kaiser Permanente. The largest managed care organization in the country, Kaiser Permanente offers many affordable small business health insurance plans and options. With a strong emphasis on preventative care, Kaiser Permanente health insurance customers have the chance to stay healthy.

5. Aetna

Best For: High deductible health plan options

One of the largest companies that provide health insurance in America, Aetna features competitive and affordable health insurance options for small business employers, including funding options and wellness offerings. In addition to offering health insurance, Aetna offers self-funded coverage to small businesses, and the health insurance provider is known for its high levels of customer satisfaction.

6. Cigna

Best For: Flexible premiums and deductibles

While only available in 10 states, Cigna is still one of the best health insurance providers thanks to its broad range of small business health insurance options that accommodate a variety of needs, as well as its flexible premium and deductible options. Cigna features a large provider network, a detailed website and outstanding customer service.

7. Anthem

Best For: Integrated health care

The largest for-profit managed health care company in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Anthem is available to customers in 14 states. The health insurance provider has one of the most extensive networks in the country, so finding a doctor is a cinch. Because Anthem takes an integrated approach to medical care through combined health plans, patient data is connected to more effectively manage care.

Health Insurance CompanyBest ForKey Features
United HealthcareExtensive coverageLarge in-network provider network, nationwide facilities, technology investments, effective group coverage options
Blue Cross Blue ShieldData-driven healthcare solutionsTrusted brand, 36 local and independent health insurance companies, popular PPO network
HumanaPreventative care advantagesLarge provider, preventative care coverage, wellness rewards, affordable plans
Kaiser PermanenteAffordabilityAffordable plans in 8 U.S. states and D.C., emphasis on preventative care
AetnaHigh deductible health plan optionsCompetitive and affordable options, funding options, high customer satisfaction
CignaFlexible premiums and deductiblesAvailable in 10 states, wide range of small business health insurance options, flexible premium and deductible choices
AnthemIntegrated health careExtensive network, integrated approach to medical care, available in 14 states

Best Small Business Health Insurance

What Health Insurance Companies Rank Best for Customer Satisfaction?

Both Forrester and Verint Systems have released studies ranking the nation’s top insurance payers based on customer satisfaction, with varying results. According to Forrester’s survey of more than 85,000 U.S. adults, Human ranks first for customer satisfaction, followed by Kaiser Permanente. Verint’s report, on the other hand, ranked United Healthcare first in customer satisfaction, with Humana coming in second place.

What Is The No. 1 Health Insurance Company in the United States?

With total revenue exceeding $286 billion in 2021, United Healthcare is the largest health insurance company in the United States by revenue, according to analysis by ValuePenguin. The insurer is also the largest company by membership and market share. Anthem is the second-largest health insurance provider in all three categories.

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Samantha Lile Samantha Lile is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 3 years. She is also a freelance writer and journalist who contributes to a variety of web publications from her home office in the heart of the Ozarks.