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Pandemic Prep: How to sign up for last minute health insurance

March 18, 2020

With COVID-19 quickly becoming a global pandemic, if you or your employees do not currently have health insurance, you still have options. Learn how to get health coverage fast for your team.

Focused on keeping personal costs down, millions of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and their employees opt out of health insurance every year. If you or your employees are currently uninsured, you're probably wondering how to protect team in the face of coronavirus. Because we are outside of the yearly enrollment cycle, you and your employees may not be able to purchase a health plan alone. However, as an employer, you are in a position to help your team get covered quickly. If you or your employees do not currently have health insurance, you still have options.

Many carriers are currently being flexible with coverage start dates. Even if you miss the mid-month enrollment deadline, you may still be able to get coverage quickly. If you're considering covering yourself and your employees, Savvy can help. It only takes 5 minutes to get started, and you can even provide some coverage for part time employees.

How to get health insurance right now

Compare options for providing insurance for your employees

1. Enroll in a traditional group health plan

Call a local health insurance broker, or sign up for HR software like Gusto or Zenefits, to enroll in a small group health plan. You will select one or two health insurance plans which all your employees can use. You will be required to cover 50% or more of cost, and make sure that at least 75% of your employees participate. Expect this to take a few weeks as you work with a broker to pick the plan, administer it, and enroll your employees. Since you usually have to cover 50% of the cost, you may not be able to include part time employees. If you only have 1 or 2 employees, you may not be able to enroll in a group health plan. You can still, however, use the other options below!

2. Adopt an ICHRA (Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement)

This is a flexible and simple option: give your employees pre-tax money they can spend on health insurance. Your employees can choose any plan on the individual market with the money you contribute. This is your fastest option because you don't need to select or manage a health plan for your employees. With Savvy, you can sign up in 5 minutes, and we find the best plan for your employees no matter where they live in the US. As soon as you adopt an ICHRA, your employees can sign up for health insurance, at any time of the year.

3. Use a PEO (Professional Employer Organization)

PEOs, like TriNet or Justworks, are an entirely outsourced HR department that will handle all payroll, benefits, compliance, and more. Because they pool together groups of small employers, they get volume discounts and have the cheapest health insurance options. However, their fees can be steep - around $1000-2000 per employee per year, on top of the actual insurance premium. If you can afford the extra spend, PEOs can be a great option.

Getting yourself and employees covered so they can get the care they need is more important than ever. Even if you missed signing up at the beginning of the year, you can still get health insurance!

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