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No law in Colorado requires small businesses to provide health insurance for dependents. In fact, no law requires owners of small businesses to provide any health insurance coverage at all. Businesses with more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees must supply health coverage to their workers. Companies with less than 50 employees can choose whether or not to offer coverage. 

Small businesses in Colorado can also choose whether or not to extend that coverage to their employees’ dependents. Even if a company offers coverage for its workers, there’s no obligation to contribute to medical coverage for their dependents.

There may be no obligation, but many people who run small companies in Colorado choose to offer their employees a health plan. Colorado small businesses often offer health insurance for dependents as a  useful recruitment and retention tool. Those small companies, however, must follow some regulations when offering coverage.

What Does the Term Health Insurance for “Dependents” Mean?

Business health coverage plans usually allow the addition of qualified dependents to any plan. However, in terms of group plans, it’s the choice of the employer whether or not to cover dependents. 

The term dependents includes:

  • Children of employees. This includes foster children, adopted children, and stepchildren as long as they’re under 26.
  • Descendants or siblings of an employee’s children. This counts even if they’re not the employee’s children.
  • Adult relatives with a gross income of under $3,000. No one else must claim them as a dependent.
  • Other adults living with the employee in his or her home for one year minimum meeting the adult relatives criteria.

Employees May Pay for Health Insurance for Dependents Premiums

Colorado Small business owners who offer health insurance plans for employees don’t have to pay for the coverage premiums, though some may choose to. Most plans allow the addition of qualified dependents to the plan, which means that employees can usually add dependents to their health plans. Adding dependents applies whether or not the business owner chooses to contribute to the premiums.

Group Health Coverage for Small Businesses

Federal law guarantees small employers group health coverage if they want it. Coverage applies regardless of their employees’ medical statuses. Small employers are businesses with between two and 50 full-time-equivalent employees. In this case, the owner is also an employee. Therefore, sole proprietorships with a single employee generally fall into the small business category. Partnerships with no employees also count.

If employers offer group health plans to any of their full-time workers, they generally must offer coverage for every employee. Then, employers can choose whether or not to offer coverage to their part-time employees working under 30 hours weekly. 

Again, if a company offers coverage to any of its part-time workers, it must offer all of them coverage. The rule applies to whatever medical conditions the employees may have. A company cannot refuse coverage to eligible employees with pre-existing conditions.

Usually, eligible employee’s dependents can get coverage under group health plans. Dependents include children, spouses, and, sometimes, unmarried domestic partners. However, dependents are unable to enroll for coverage unless the employee has coverage as well. Group plans cover all adult dependents up to the age of 26.

What Must Employers Pay?

The amount that small business owners must pay depends on the plan that they choose. Some employers will pay the entire premium themselves. Others require their workers to pay for some of the premium. Some tax credits are available to businesses that help to offset insurance costs. Companies should consider these tax credits when determining the amount of premium to pay.

Choosing Health Plans for Small Businesses in Colorado

Legally, there’s no obligation for small business owners in Colorado to provide health coverage for their workers or their worker’s dependents. That doesn’t mean, though, that it isn’t a good idea to consider offering medical insurance as a benefit for workers. 

Offering employees coverage under a health plan is a great way to attract the best talent to your company. Offering health insurance for employees and their dependents also helps to increase staff retention rates and boost productivity in the workplace. 

If you’re ready to consider choosing a group health plan, Preferred Insurance is a leading choice in Colorado. Our brokers specialize in assisting employers in Denver and Colorado Springs to choose the right insurance solutions for them. 

We recognize the importance of your employees to your business, which is why we endeavor to present you with the best options to suit your needs. Whether you only want to provide coverage for your workers or health insurance for dependents, too, we can help. 

Call to Speak with an Experienced Colorado Springs Business Health Insurance Broker 

Call us to schedule a free consultation about your small business health insurance needs. We promise you will get valuable ideas and your questions answered. We are a locally owned and operated group health insurance broker that offer free quotes in less that 48 hours.

Call (719) 599-7989

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