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Small Business Health Insurance Plans & Benefits Arizona

Arizona Group Health Insurance

A selection of small employer group health insurance plans from the major Arizona insurance companies is available for you to choose from depending on your geographic area of Arizona. Arizona group health insurance is available for small employers employing from two to 50 employees on a typical business day during any one calendar year. Large group health coverage for 51 or more employees is also available.

If you're not sure which county your city is in, check here.
Map of Arizona Counties
   Health Savings Accounts - HSA Plans
   Health Reimbursment Arrangement - HRA
   Flexible Spending Accounts - FSA Options

As an Arizona small business owner, you are not required to offer group health insurance to your employees. A small employer is defined by Arizona as an employer who employees at least two but not more than 50 eligible employees on a typical business day during any one calendar year. If you do offer health insurance, both state and federal rules and regulations apply as well as requirements imposed by the individual insurance companies. The employer is responsible for establishing health insurance eligibility requirements for his group's employees, however. The insurance companies, in most cases, are required to offer you group health insurance on a guaranteed issue basis without regard to the health status of the group.

The rules tell you how to determine who is an eligible employee for health insurance purposes. You are given flexibility in determining the number of hours worked per week for an employee to be considered full time and eligible for health insurance.

The minimum requirement customarily established by insurance companies is 20 hours per week; therefore you can choose any hourly requirement between 20 and 40 hours. You are also given flexibility in determining a probationary period or waiting period for newly hired employees.

You may not exclude from coverage any employee or a spouse or a dependent child of an employee who meets your eligibility requirements. The health insurance company or health plan may deny enrollment to one or more of your employees and his dependents if they reside outside the plan's service area as long as deny enrollment uniformly without regard to health factors.

Insurance companies usually require that at least 75% of the eligible employees of a small employer enroll in the group plan and at least 25% of eligible dependents enroll in the plan where the employee is contributing a portion of the premium for coverage. If the employer pays 100% of the premium, then 100% of the eligible employees must enroll. The same rule applies to dependent coverage if the employer pays the full premium. Employees having other verifiable medical coverage on their own or coverage provided by a government program are not normally included in the total number of employees when applying these percentages.

Insurance company rules will also specify the minimum contribution an employer has to make toward an employee's health insurance premium. Employers are generally required to contribute at least 50% of the employee's portion of the premium, but are not required to contribute toward that portion of the premium attributed to the employee's dependent coverage. You can choose to pay more and even cover all or part of the coverage for an employee's dependents if you wish. If you pay 100% of the premium for employees, you are not required to contribute to the cost for covering their dependents on the health plan. You may also establish classes of employees and have different contribution levels for each class, so long as you clearly define each class and treat all members of a class in an equal manner.

You will usually be required to certify that you meet the definition of a small employer. You will usually be asked to fill out a health questionnaire for the group. It is also beneficial to encourage your employees to maintain healthy lifestyles as rates are usually based on the health of the employees in a group.

The insurance company usually imposes a 12-month preexisting condition limitation on an employee who does not have prior health coverage and an 18-month period for late enrollees, those employees who did not enroll in the plan when first eligible. Credit toward this exclusion period is granted for prior coverage without more than a 63-day break in coverage, not counting an employer's probationary period. A timely enrolled child, adopted child, or child placed for adoption would not be subject to a preexisting limitation period.

Plan availability varies by the county and, in some cases, the zip code of where your business is located.

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