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Best Health Insurance Companies for Small Businesses for 2024

Blue Cross Blue Shield is our top pick for its availability and wellness programs

small business health insurance cost calculator

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .

Blue Cross Blue Shield stands out as the best health insurance company for small businesses because of its range of coverage options. The company offers a nationwide preferred provider organization (PPO) network and extra benefits for employees, including an extensive discount program. 

Depending on your state, you may have a few options for finding health coverage for your employees, including through the Small Business Health Insurance Options Program (SHOP)—a government marketplace for small business health plans—and by purchasing a traditional group health plan from a broker or directly from an insurer. 

To choose the best health insurance companies for small businesses, we evaluated major health insurance carriers based on financial strength, customer satisfaction, coverage options, telehealth and wellness benefits, digital tools, and more. These are our top picks. 

  • Best Overall: Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Best for Customer Satisfaction: Kaiser Permanente
  • Best for Part-Time and Seasonal Workers: UnitedHealthcare
  • Best for Self-Funded Plans: Aetna
  • Our Top Picks

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Kaiser Permanente

UnitedHealthcare

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The Bottom Line

Small business insurance options.

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Methodology

Best Overall : Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) offers flexible options to small business owners, including the option to access the nation’s leading PPO network. In many states, BCBS employee plans come packed with extra benefits, and most plans include an extensive discount program.

Nationwide availability

Health and wellness discounts

Workplace wellness programs in many states

Poor J.D. Power ranking in some regions

Blue Cross Blue Shield, which is also our pick for the best health insurance company overall, offers employers many options. Among them are plans that include access to the BlueCard PPO network, which gives employees coverage when traveling nationwide. In some states, BCBS offers fully insured, level-funded, and self-funded plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield is a group of companies, so benefits and plans vary by region, but many member companies offer extra benefits. 

For example, the member company Anthem provides an employee assistance program at no extra cost to help members manage stressful events, from legal issues to the search for care. In many states, BCBS plans also come with 24/7 telehealth and access to mobile app plan management. Most members also get access to Blue365, an extensive discount program that also offers a $25 gym membership in some states. 

BCBS and Anthem companies had a combined average of 3.5 stars out of 5 stars from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), an independent body that judges insurance plans on the quality of their providers, as well as customer satisfaction. But customer satisfaction ratings vary by region. Check the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study to see how BCBS fared in your region. While rankings are poor in many regions, BCBS was top-ranked in Florida. 

BCBS companies also have an A or A- financial strength rating from AM Best . 

Best for Customer Satisfaction : Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente has top customer satisfaction ratings from the NCQA and J.D. Power, along with an award-winning app and a suite of virtual care options.

4.2-star average NCQA rating

Top-ranked by J.D. Power in most regions where available

Administers HRAs, HSAs, and FSAs

Robust support for chronic conditions

Only available in eight states and D.C.

Kaiser Permanente has better customer satisfaction ratings than any of the major health insurance providers we reviewed, with a 4.2-star average NCQA rating and top J.D. Power rankings in four regions. The company offers employers many options. While Kaiser is known for its health maintenance organization (HMO) plans , it also offers preferred provider organization (PPO) plans . Employees can pair some plans with a Kaiser-administered health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) , health savings account (HSA) , or flexible spending account (FSA) . Members can even submit HRA and FSA claims using their mobile phone cameras. 

Free wellness coaching is included at no cost. Members who are at risk for chronic conditions are automatically enrolled in a disease management program with comprehensive support and remote patient monitoring. And Kaiser offers several additional employee benefits, including dental, vision, acupuncture, and chiropractic. Kaiser is also our top pick for the best digital tools, with an award-winning app, 24/7 virtual care, mental health apps, and online physical therapy. 

The main drawback is that Kaiser Permanente isn’t available everywhere. The company only offers plans in eight states and the District of Columbia. Kaiser does offer a SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) plan in Georgia and Virginia.

Best for Part-Time and Seasonal Workers : UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare offers small business plans nationwide, including a unique coverage solution for contractors, part-time workers, and seasonal employees.

Offers a unique program for non-benefit-eligible workers

Offers wellness resources and incentives

A+ financial strength rating from AM Best

J.D. Power ratings vary by region

UnitedHealthcare is our top pick for small businesses with several types of employees and contractors, including part-time and seasonal workers. Its FlexWork program offers coverage for non-benefit-eligible employees nationwide. The program provides group-premium-equivalent rates for three plan types designed for different types of workers, and you can add extra benefits like $0 telehealth, dental, and vision. 

UnitedHealthcare also offers members access to Self Care (a wellness app), fitness incentives, an online weight loss program, a smoking cessation program, and more. Plus, UnitedHealthcare offers a large provider network of more than 1.3 million healthcare providers. 

UnitedHealthcare also boasts an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best and a 3.5-star average NCQA rating. Though J.D. Power ratings vary by region, UnitedHealthcare was the top-scoring company in Texas and Virginia. The company also offers SHOP plans in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and D.C.

Best for Self-Funded Plans : Aetna

Aetna is one of the few health insurance companies to offer self-insured plans tailored to small businesses. We also like that it offers virtual primary care and a CVS allowance.

Offers self-funded plans for up to 25% upfront savings

Offers a variety of health expense funds

Optional robust behavioral health benefits

Members of some plans can access affordable care at MinuteClinic locations

Fully insured group plans in some states don’t include MinuteClinic benefits

Self-funded plans from Aetna offer up to 25% savings upfront, plus stop-loss insurance if your claims for a particular month go over your maximum claims amount. When you renew your plan, Aetna will refund 50% of any surplus funding to you. 

Members get access to CVS Health virtual primary care plus up to a $100 allowance for health and wellness products at CVS. The company also offers HRAs, HSAs, FSAs, and retirement reimbursement arrangements (RRAs) in most states. In addition, you have the option of adding behavioral health benefits that include virtual counseling, mental health tools, and an employee assistance program. Many plans offer MinuteClinic benefits as well, but fully insured plans in some states are excluded. 

Aetna has a 3.5-star average NCQA rating and a financial strength rating of A with AM Best. The company also came out on top in the East South Central, Northwest, and Southwest regions in the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Commercial Health Plan Study, but ratings vary by region. Aetna offers SHOP plans in Maryland and D.C.

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers the most options for employers, with many plans providing access to the BlueCard PPO network and 24/7 telehealth, along with a variety of funding options in some states. If you’re looking for a self-funded plan, Aetna offers the best option tailored to small businesses in many states, as well as CVS benefits and optional robust behavioral health benefits. Kaiser Permanente takes the cake for customer satisfaction, with high third-party ratings and great digital tools, while UnitedHealthcare’s unique FlexWork program makes it our top pick for nontraditional employees. 

When choosing small business health insurance, you have a few options, according to Robert Slayton, an employee benefits consultant. 

Small Group Health Insurance

One option is to purchase a small group plan directly from a commercial health insurance company that serves small businesses or through a broker. “It gives the employer control over which plans to offer and [assurance] that people will remain covered while employed,” said Slayton. However, you may also need to offer COBRA or mini-COBRA plans. Mini-COBRA plans are required by some states for companies with fewer than 20 employees.

Self-Funded Plan

You may be able to save money by taking on the responsibility of paying out employee health claims yourself. This is known as a self-funded or self-insured plan, which typically relies on a commercial health insurer to administer the provider network and provide assistance with enrollment and claims processing. 

Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) 

Another option is for the employer to offer a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), which is an employer-funded group plan that pays employees back for qualified health expenses up to a certain dollar amount each year. Expenses may include premiums for an employer-sponsored plan, as well as copays and coinsurance. There are several types of HRAs, including a qualified small employer HRA (QSEHRA) for companies with fewer than 50 full-time employees. Another type is an individual coverage HRA (ICHRA), which lets employees use the funds to buy their own health insurance with pretax dollars. Funds can also be used for copays and deductibles. “[Employers] choose an amount to give each employee so that the employee can purchase coverage on their own,” said Slayton. “Employees who claim this reimbursement must have an underlying individual plan or Medicare.” 

SHOP Plan 

The Small Business Health Insurance Options Program allows you to compare small business plans offered on the ACA Marketplace and offer one or multiple options to your employees. These plans are typically the only route to the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. However, they’re only offered on the federal marketplace in eight states and on state-run exchanges in 13 states. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do small businesses have to provide health insurance.

If you employ fewer than 50 people full-time, you are not required to offer health insurance to your employees. But more than half of firms that size do offer it, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. A 2022 U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey found that 88% of employees rank health insurance as the most important employer-provided benefit. If you have 50 or more employees and choose not to offer coverage that meets federal standards, you’ll be required to pay a penalty called a Shared Responsibility Payment instead.

How Much Does Small Business Health Insurance Cost?

Costs vary by location and the network and coverage you choose, but on average, small businesses contributed $7,349 per single covered employee in 2023. Experts recommend keeping your total employee benefit costs between 10% to 20% of your overall revenue.

What Is a Self-Insured Health Plan?

A self-insured health plan is a type of group health insurance in which the employer collects premiums and is responsible for paying claims when employees need care. These plans can be self-administered, or the business may work with an insurance provider to get stop-loss coverage (which puts a ceiling on your risk) and administrative support. 

There are several benefits to self-funded plans. Employers can keep surplus premiums (or receive a portion returned by the stop-loss carrier), plans can be customized to a greater degree, and certain ACA provisions that lead to high costs can be avoided. Increasingly, small businesses are opting for self-funded coverage. But self-insured plans aren’t right for every business.

Can an S Corp Pay for Health Insurance?

Yes. An S corp can provide health insurance for its employees. However, most health insurance companies require you to have at least two employees to get a group plan, so if you are an S corp owner and don’t have employees, you’ll need to get individual health insurance from the ACA Marketplace. Additionally, you can’t provide an HRA to anyone with a greater than 2% stake in your company.

How We Chose the Best Health Insurance Companies for Small Businesses

We chose the best health insurance companies for small businesses by looking at our research for our list of the overall best health insurance companies and then investigating what options these insurers offer for small businesses looking to buy plans for their employees. 

To identify which health insurance companies to review for our overall winners list, we analyzed business and market insight databases, considered health insurance company market share, and researched user-generated data from Google to determine public interest and trends in health insurance companies and plans. 

We collected data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), an independent organization that rates healthcare plans on quality and patient satisfaction. We also gathered data from state and federal government insurance marketplace websites and databases, and directly from companies via websites, media contacts, and existing partnerships. The data collection process took place between Sept. 29 and Oct. 23, 2023.

We then developed a quantitative model that scores each health insurance provider based on 27 criteria that fall into four major categories and are crucial in evaluating the company’s offerings and benefits. We weighted the four categories as follows for this article:

  • Plan Quality & Customer Satisfaction : 20%
  • Plan Features : 40%
  • Availability : 15%

Read our full methodology for reviewing health insurance companies.

J.D. Power. “ Commercial Health Plan Member Satisfaction Declines in Key Areas, J.D. Power Finds. ”

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. " MiniCobra Continuation of Coverage Benefits Guide ."

Healthcare.gov. " What's An Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)? "

Healthcare.gov. “ SHOP Marketplace Basics for Employers .”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “ As a Small Business Owner, Am I Required to Offer Health Insurance to My Employees? ”

KFF. " 2023 Employer Health Benefits Survey (Section 6) ."

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Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator

Estimate health insurance premiums and subsidies for health insurance coverage through marketplaces.

Published: Oct 27, 2023

About this tool

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator provides estimates of health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With this calculator, you can enter your income, age, and family size to estimate your eligibility for subsidies and how much you could spend on health insurance. You can also use this tool to estimate your eligibility for Medicaid. As eligibility requirements may vary by state, please contact your state’s Medicaid office or Marketplace with enrollment questions. We encourage other organizations to feature the calculator on their websites using the embed instructions .

Enter Information About Your Household

1. select a state .

Enter your zip code

Your county is .

Select county

2. Enter yearly household income as...

3. is coverage available from your or your spouse’s job , 4. number of people in family , 5. which members of your family are enrolling in marketplace coverage , 5. number of adults (21 to 64) enrolling in marketplace coverage , 6. number of children (20 and younger) enrolling in marketplace coverage, 7. have you received or were you approved to receive unemployment compensation at any point in 2023 .

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator is based on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as signed into law in 2010, and subsequent regulations issued by Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Premiums displayed in the calculator’s results are based on actual exchange premiums in 2024 dollars. Premiums were obtained through data published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) , data received directly from state exchanges or insurance departments, and data collected from state-based exchanges by KFF researchers. The silver premium is the second-lowest cost silver premium available in the county of the entered zip code and the bronze premium shown is the lowest-cost bronze plan in the county of the entered zip code. Not all plans are available in all parts of the county, so actual premiums may vary depending on plan availability. Premiums shown are the premium portion used for Essential Health Benefits. Actual premiums may be higher if plans include "non-essential benefits" such as dental or vision care.

The premium is adjusted for family size and age of the user. Premiums in the calculator vary by age within the three to one limit specified in the law, using age factors from proposed regulations issued by HHS (or, state specific age factors where states have adopted them). The calculator does not display a tobacco surcharge. However, in most states, insurers can charge a tobacco surcharge of up to 50% of your total premium, and tax credits do not apply to the surcharge. Actual tobacco surcharges will vary by plan and some states do not permit insurers to vary premiums by tobacco status .

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about how the health reform law will affect you and your insurance options, please go to HealthCare.gov, or contact their Help Center at 1-800-318-2596 if you have questions that cannot be answered on their website. You can also contact your state’s Consumer Assistance Program , Exchange, or Medicaid office with questions about eligibility and enrollment. To find help from Navigators and other certified assisters in HealthCare.gov states, click here .

KFF is not able to provide individual advice on your insurance options. However, we do provide answers to a number of frequently asked questions below, along with more detailed questions and answers in our Health Reform FAQ page.

I am having difficulty viewing or understanding my results. What should I do?

It could be that you are using an older version of Microsoft Edge or Firefox. Try updating to a newer version of your web browser. Not sure which browser version you are running? Check here for Microsoft Edge  or here for Firefox . If you continue to have technical problems with the Calculator after updating your browser, please contact KFF.

Please note that we are not able to provide individual advice or assistance understanding your results. If you have additional questions, we suggest that you contact Healthcare.gov or your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace for more information.

Has the calculator been updated for 2024?

Yes, the calculator now shows premiums for 2024 in all states.

Does the calculator provide definitive results for what I will pay?

No. The calculator is intended to show you an  estimate  of how much you may pay and the amount of financial help you may be eligible for if you buy coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. To find out if you are eligible for financial assistance and to sign up, you must contact HealthCare.gov, your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace, or Medicaid program office.  

Although the Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator is based on actual premiums for plans sold in your area, there are several reasons why your calculator results may not match your actual tax credit amount. For example, the calculator relies completely on information as you enter it, whereas the Marketplace may calculate your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) to be a different amount or may verify your income against previous year’s data.  

Has the calculator been updated for the changes enacted through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) ? 

Yes, t he calculator estimate s  how much you may pay and the amount of financial assistance you will receive under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which continued expanded amounts and eligibility for Marketplace subsidies.

How do health insurance subsidies work?

Subsidies are financial assistance from the Federal government to help you pay for health coverage or care. The amount of assistance you get is determined by your income and family size. There are two types of health insurance subsidies available through the Marketplace: the premium tax credit and the cost-sharing subsidy .

The premium tax credit helps lower your monthly  premium  expenses. This subsidy is available to people with family incomes 100% of the poverty level or greater who buy coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. These individuals and families will pay between 0% and 8 . 5 % of their incomes for a mid-level plan premium (the "benchmark silver plan").  Anything above that is paid by the government. The amount of your tax credit is based on the price of the benchmark silver plan in your area, but you can use your premium tax credit to purchase any Marketplace plan, including Bronze, Gold, and Platinum plans (these different types of plans are described below). You can choose to have your tax credit paid directly to the insurance company so that you pay less each month, or, you can decide to wait to get the tax credit in a lump sum when you do your taxes next year.  KFF FAQs provide additional information about  how premium tax credits work .  

Cost-sharing subsidies (also called “cost-sharing reductions”) help you with your costs when you use health care, like going to the doctor or having a hospital stay. These subsidies are only available to people purchasing their own insurance who are eligible to receive a premium tax credit and make between 100% and 250% of the poverty level . If you qualify for a cost-sharing subsidy, you would need to sign up for a silver plan to take advantage of it. Unlike the premium tax credit (which can be used for other “metal levels”), cost-sharing subsidies only work with silver plans. With a cost-sharing subsidy, you still pay the same low monthly rate of a silver plan, but you also pay less when you go to the doctor or have a hospital stay than you otherwise would. (Enhanced cost sharing subsidies are available for Native Americans at somewhat higher income levels under any Marketplace plan.)

For more information, read the actuarial value question below. If you have more specific questions about your subsidy, you can consult our FAQ pages or contact an assister or navigator through Healthcare.gov or your state’s Marketplace.

What is included in household income? How do I know what to enter for my income?

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator allows you to enter household income in terms of 2024  dollars or as a percent of the Federal poverty level.  Household income  includes incomes of the person who pays taxes, the spouse, and , in some cases,  children, known as dependents on tax returns. For the purposes of the calculator, you should enter your best guess of what your income will be in 20 24 .  

When you go to HealthCare.gov or your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace website, it will walk you through the steps to calculate your household income based on wages, interest, dividends, Social Security, and certain other income sources. Eligibility for premium tax credits is based on your  household’s  Modified Adjusted Gross Income, or MAGI.  Your most recent tax return will show your   A djusted  G ross  I ncome  (AGI) .  For many people, MAGI is the same or very close to adjusted gross income.  MAGI modifies your  A djusted  G ross  I ncome by adding any non-taxable Social Security benefits you  may  receive, any tax-exempt interest you  may  earn, and any foreign income you earned that was excluded from your income for tax purposes.  The calculation does not include income from gifts, inheritance , supplemental security income (SSI),  and some other income sources. For more information, see   here .  

What is the Federal poverty level?

The Federal poverty level varies by family size. For Marketplace coverage in 2024 , the poverty level used is $14,580 for a single adult and $30,000  for a family of 4. Federal poverty level is higher for Alaska and Hawaii.

What is Medicaid? How does it relate to financial help through the Health Insurance Marketplace?

Medicaid is a  comprehensive, free  health insurance program (offered through a partnership between states and the Federal government) for people wh en they  have limited income .   Eligibility for Medicaid is based on your current income (vs eligibility for marketplace subsidies, which is based on your estimated total annual income for 2024).  Medicaid programs vary from state to state, but most health care services are covered at little or no cost and no premium is charged. If you are eligible for Medicaid, then you would not be eligible for subsidies in the Marketplace and would instead need to sign up for Medicaid.  

As a result of the  ACA , states have the option to expand Medicaid eligibility to  adults with incomes up to 138% of the poverty level. (Children in households with even higher income are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in every state.)   Currently , 41 states (including DC) have adopted the Medicaid expansion and 10 states have no t done so . If you  are an adult living  in a state that has not expanded Medicaid and you expect your income to be  at least as high as the poverty level, then you may be eligible for subsidies through HealthCare.gov .  If you expect that your income next year will be below the poverty level, then you may not be eligible for assistance through the Marketplace. However, it is possible that you may still qualify for Medicaid under your state’s eligibility criteria, particularly if your income is very limited and you have children, are pregnant, or have a disability.  

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator takes into account whether or not your state has decided to expand Medicaid, so you can use this tool to estimate your eligibility for Medicaid. Again, keep in mind that – even if your state did not expand Medicaid – you or some members of your family may still be eligible for Medicaid. To find out if you qualify for Medicaid, contact HealthCare.gov, your state’s Marketplace, or your state’s Medicaid program office for information about eligibility and enrollment.

If I am eligible for Medicare, can I still sign up on the Marketplace?

No, you cannot sign up for  new  Marketplace coverage if you are eligible for Medicare.  Most people age 65 and older are eligible for Medicare, which is health insurance program run by the federal government.  If you are eligible for Medicare, even if you did not choose to enroll in Medicare, you would not be able to purchase Marketplace coverage.  

When using the Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator, if some members of your household are eligible for Medicare and others are not, you should enter your full household size (including those who are eligible for Medicare) in Question #4. For the following question (#5), please enter only those family members who are signing up for Marketplace coverage (do not enter adults who are eligible for Medicare in Question #6).

If you are over the age of 65 but not yet eligible for Medicare due to immigration status or your work history, you may be eligible for Marketplace coverage and subsidies. You can use the Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator by entering your age as 64.

Does my age or health status affect how much I pay for health insurance?

As a result of the  ACA , insurance companies cannot deny you coverage or make you pay more for your health coverage based on your health.  

In most states, older people will still pay more for health insurance than a younger person. The  ACA requires that people aged 64 and older can be charged no more than 3 times that of a 21-year-old. Children under age 21 have slightly lower premiums and families with more than three children under the age of 21 will be charged premiums for no more than three children.  

Vermont and New York are currently the only states that  prohibit age-rating; in these states, plans charge the same premium for adults regardless of age.   If you live in one of these states, the Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator will calculate your premiums according to your state’s rules.  

Does where I live affect how much I pay for health insurance?

Yes. The cost of health insurance (your monthly premium) varies quite a bit by state, and even within regions of a state. This is because of several factors, such as the cost of living and cost of health care services in your area.

Your premium tax credit is tied to the cost of insurance in your area. If you live in a high-cost area, you may be eligible for more financial assistance.

Premiums in the Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator are actual premiums in your area. It is possible that some plans may not be available in your particular zip code or county, though. For this reason, you may get slightly different results when you apply for subsidies through HealthCare.gov or your state’s Marketplace.

If I use tobacco, can this affect how much I pay for health insurance?

Yes, in most states, insurers can charge people who use tobacco a higher premium (this is called a “tobacco surcharge”).  Currently, only six states (California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) and the District of Columbia do not allow private health plans to charge higher premiums for people who use tobacco ;   and  several other states  limit tobacco surcharges to less than 50%.    

Under the  ACA , private insurers can charge tobacco users no more than 50% more per month than those who do not use tobacco. The health law also makes clear that financial help through the Health Insurance Marketplace cannot be used to cover the portion of the premium that is due to a tobacco surcharge.  

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator does not adjust your results based on tobacco use because tobacco surcharges vary quite a bit from plan to plan. Even in states that allow it, some insurers choose not to charge higher prices for tobacco users or charge relatively low surcharges. For this reason, the calculator warns you when you might face higher prices, but to find out your true costs, you will need to go to HealthCare.gov or your state’s Marketplace.

What are Bronze and Silver plans?

When you buy coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace you can choose between four levels of coverage: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The levels are based on how much financial protection the plans offer you when you get sick or need medical care and how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket for care subject to the plan deductible and other cost sharing.

Bronze plans will have the lowest monthly premiums, but  have the highest deductibles, copayments, and other cost sharing. I f you get sick or have an accident, your share of  covered medical bills that you will have to pay out-of-pocket will be higher because of the higher cost sharing. Silver plans are more protective and will have higher monthly  premiums , but  generally have somewhat  lower deductibles and other cost sharing, meaning you would likely spend less  out of pocket  when you get medical care. Gold and platinum plans have the highest monthly payments, but  the lowest cost sharing, leaving you with  fewer additional costs  to pay for covered services .  

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator shows the cost of silver and bronze plans in your area. Silver plans are important because these are used as a “benchmark” for calculating how much assistance you are eligible for. The silver premium shown in the calculator is the second-lowest-cost silver plan in your area.

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator will also show you the price of the lowest-cost bronze plan in your area. Bronze plans are the lowest level of coverage that most people are required to have under the health law. If a Bronze plan is still unaffordable to you even after financial assistance, or if you are under the age of 30, you may purchase a catastrophic plan. The calculator will tell you when catastrophic coverage may be an option to you.  Premium tax credits cannot be applied to catastrophic health plans.  

For more information on the difference between bronze and silver plans, see the question on actuarial value, below.

What are my options if I have job-based health coverage?

With most job-based health plans, an employer pays part of your monthly or yearly costs (premiums). In general, people who qualify for health insurance through their job are not able to get financial assistance through the Marketplaces.

However, if your employer’s coverage is either  unaffordable  or doesn’t meet the health care law’s “ minimum value ” requirement, then you may be eligible for financial help to purchase through the Marketplace. “Minimum value” means your employer plan pays at least 60% of the total cost of medical services. Your employer can tell you whether the insurance plan it offers meets minimum value.  It also can provide you with information to determine if the plan is considered affordable to you.  

Family members (spouses and children) who are eligible for employer-sponsored coverage can still qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits if the employer-sponsored coverage is considered unaffordable. Starting in 2023, the so-called “ Family Glitch ” has been fixed to allow family members in these circumstances to enroll in subsidized coverage.

When using the Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator, you can answer “No” to Question #3 if your employer’s coverage is unaffordable or does not meet the minimum value requirement.

What is actuarial value and how does it affect how much I pay for insurance and health care?

While health insurance may pay for most of a covered medical service, you generally still pay some of the cost when you go to the doctor or have a hospital stay.  Actuarial value is the percentage of total covered medical expenses that are paid for by the insurance company, on average, for a typical population. The higher the actuarial value, the more financial protection the plan is likely to offer you when you get sick or need medical care.  

For example, if a plan has an actuarial value of 70%, then the insurance company will pay about 70% of the total medical expenses  for everyone covered by that plan . Together, you and everyone enrolled in the plan would pay the remaining 30% of the total bills. This  does not   mean  that you personally will pay 30% of your expenses. Rather, this is an average across everyone enrolled in the plan. Your own costs will vary substantially from this amount, depending on how much care you use.  

While actuarial value doesn’t tell you exactly what you will pay, understanding it can help you pick which level of plan is right for your health needs. Bronze plans,  which are the lowest level of coverage offered through the marketplace,   have an actuarial value of about 60%.  Bronze  plans will have low monthly premiums, but if you get sick or have an accident you will pay more in medical bills.  Silver  plans are  somewhat  more financially protective and have an actuarial value of about 70%.  Gold  and  Platinum  plans have the highest monthly payments but also are the most protective if you get sick or need a lot of medical care: they have actuarial values of about 80% and 90%, respectively. Once you pick which level  of coverage is right for you, you can compare plans of a similar value side-by-side.  

If your income is between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for a  cost-sharing subsidy  if you sign up for a silver plan (these subsidies are explained more above). With a cost - sharing subsidy, you still pay the same low premium of a silver plan, but  the plan will be modified to reduce deductibles and other cost sharing to levels more similar to those found in gold or platinum plans.  Normally silver plans have an actuarial value of 70%, but with the cost-sharing subsidy, your silver plans’ actuarial value will range from 73% to 94% (depending on your income).  This means you will likely pay less when you go to the doctor or hospital than you otherwise would with a silver plan.  

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator estimates whether you may be eligible for cost sharing subsidies. If you are likely eligible for a cost sharing subsidy, the calculator also shows what your silver plan’s actuarial value would be.

Previous Versions of the Calculator

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The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

This credit is designed to help you offset the costs of providing health insurance to your employees.

If you're a small employer and meet certain requirements, the credit can be up to 50% (35% for eligible tax exempt employers) of the premiums you pay for providing health insurance.

This information is only an overview to help you understand the credit and how it can benefit you.

You can find more details about the credit and its requirements from the IRS at Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions and from the Instructions for Form 8941.

Eligible Small Employers

There are three basic requirements to be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. They are:

  • You paid premiums for employee health insurance coverage under a qualifying arrangement.
  • You had fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) for the tax year.
  • You paid average annual wages for the tax year of less than $55,000 per FTE in 2019.

Employers treated as a single employer

  • Employers who are corporations in a controlled group of corporations.
  • Employers who are members of an affiliated service group.
  • Employers who are partnerships, proprietorships, etc., under common control. See Regulations sections 1.414(c)-2, 1.414(c)-3, and 1.414(c)-4.
  • Tax-exempt employers under common control. See Regulations section 1.414(c)-5.

Unless an exception applies, only one Form 8941 can be filed with a tax return. See the instructions for Form 8941 for additional information.

Credit Period

  • An eligible small employer (or any predecessor) files an income tax return with an attached Form 8941, or
  • A tax-exempt eligible small employer (or any predecessor) files Form 990-T with an attached Form 8941.

Eligible Employees

In general, all employees who perform services for you during the tax year are taken into account in determining your FTEs, average annual wages, and premiums paid.

You can generally calculate your FTEs by adding up the hours of service for all of your employees (but not more than 2,080 hours per employee) and then dividing that by 2,080 (which is a full time employee - 40 hours a week at 52 weeks per year).

Former Employees

Premiums paid on behalf of a former employee with no hours of service may be treated as paid on behalf of an employee for purposes of figuring the credit provided that, if so treated, the former employee is also treated as an employee for purposes of the uniform percentage requirement.

Leased Employees

  • Provides services to you under an agreement between you and a leasing organization,
  • Has performed services for you (or for you and a related person) substantially full time for at least 1 year, and
  • Performs services under your primary direction or control.

But do not use hours, wages, or premiums paid with respect to the initial year of service on which leased employee status is based.

Seasonal Employees

Employees who perform labor or services on a seasonal basis and perform labor or services for you 120 or fewer days during the tax year are not considered employees in determining FTEs and average annual wages. But premiums paid on their behalf are counted in determining the amount of the credit.

Seasonal workers include retail workers employed exclusively during holiday seasons. Seasonal workers also include workers employed exclusively during the summer.

Household and Other Nonbusiness Employees

Household employees and other employees who are not performing services in your trade or business are considered employees if they otherwise qualify as discussed above. A sole proprietor must include both business and nonbusiness employees to determine FTEs, average annual wages, and premiums paid.

However, for credit purposes, whether a minister is an employee or self-employed is determined under the common law test for determining worker status. Self-employed ministers are not considered employees.

Excluded Employees

  • The owner of a sole proprietorship.
  • A partner in a partnership.
  • A shareholder who owns (after applying the section 318 constructive ownership rules) more than 2% of an S corporation.
  • A shareholder who owns (after applying the section 318 constructive ownership rules) more than 5% of the outstanding stock or stock possessing more than 5% of the total combined voting power of all stock of a corporation that is not an S corporation.
  • A person who owns more than 5% of the capital or profits interest in any other business that is not a corporation.
  • A child (or descendant of a child),
  • A sibling or step-sibling,
  • A parent (or ancestor of a parent),
  • A step-parent,
  • A niece or nephew,
  • An aunt or uncle,
  • A son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law.

Counting Employee Hours of Service

Count both the time your employees worked for you and for the time that you paid (and were supposed to pay) them for time off, such as vacation, holidays, illness, incapacity (including disability), layoff, jury duty, military duty, or leave of absence.

Also, if any of your employees took more than 160 hours of continuous paid time off (as described above) you only need to count the first 160 hours. If your employees have more than 2,080 hours, only count the first 2,080.

You can count your employees' time by one of three methods:

  • Actual Hours: Determine actual hours of service from records of hours worked and hours for which payment is made or due.
  • Days-worked equivalency: Your employee is credited with 8 hours of work each day he or she worked (and received paid time off) for you at least one hour.
  • Weeks-worked equivalency: Your employee is credited with 40 hours of work for each week he or she worked (and received paid time off) for you at least one hour.

Your credit will begin to phase out if you have more than 10 FTEs and completely phases out if you have 25 or more.

Qualifying Arrangement

A qualifying arrangement is generally an arrangement that requires you to pay a uniform percentage (not less than 50%) of the premium cost for each enrolled employee's health insurance coverage.

An arrangement that offers different tiers of coverage (for example, self-only, self-plus one, and family coverage) is generally a qualifying arrangement if it requires you to pay a uniform percentage (not less than 50%) separately for each tier of coverage you offer.

Beginning in 2014, to be a qualifying arrangement you must also purchase your employees' insurance through a SHOP Marketplace.

Exceptions to the SHOP requirement may apply in 2017 and later years. See the IRS News Release or Notice 2018-27 for more information.

You pay 50% of the cost of self-coverage for all your employees. This leaves your employees who are enrolled in more expensive coverage - such as self plus one or family - to pay the additional cost.

Then, even though you pay less than 50% of the cost of self plus one and family coverage, you may still be eligible because you paid 50% of what would have been charged for self-coverage.

Average Annual Wages

You can find the average annual wages you paid to your FTEs by dividing the total wages you paid to all your employees (other than the employees that aren't counted) by the number of your FTEs.

However, only count the wages subject to Social Security and Medicare withholding, disregarding the wage base limit.

The wage phase out is indexed to inflation. For 2018, the credit will begin to phase out when the average annual wages are more than $26,000 and falls to zero when the wages reach $54,000. This phase out is in addition to the FTE phase out.

Premiums You Pay

You can claim the credit only for premiums you paid for health insurance coverage under a qualifying arrangement, and only for people counted as employees for credit purposes.

Wellness programs.

A wellness program is generally an insurance program of health promotion or disease prevention. If you pay part or all of the cost of an employee's participation in a wellness program, use the amount you paid to figure your employer premiums paid.

Tobacco surcharges.

A tobacco surcharge is generally an additional amount charged for insurance for a tobacco user. If you pay part or all of an employee's tobacco surcharge, you cannot use the amount you paid to figure your employer premiums paid.

Dependent coverage.

Dependent coverage is generally coverage offered separately to an individual who is or may become eligible for coverage under the terms of a group health plan because of a relationship to a participant-employee, whether or not a dependent of the participant-employee. Dependent coverage does not include coverage, such as family coverage, which includes coverage of the participant-employee.

If you pay part or all of the cost of an employee's dependent coverage, use the amount you paid to figure your employer premiums paid.

Portion of premiums paid.

If you pay only a portion of the premiums and your employees pay the rest, only the portion you pay is taken into account. For this purpose, any premium paid through a salary reduction arrangement under a section 125 cafeteria plan is not treated as an employer paid premium. For more information on cafeteria plans, see section 1 of Publication 15-B , Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits.

Limitations on the Credit

State average premium limitation.

The amount of your premium payments that are taken into account in calculating the credit is limited to the premium payments you would have made under the same arrangement if the average premium for the small group market in the rating area in which your employees enroll for coverage were substituted for the actual premium.

State Premium Subsidy and Tax Credit Limitation

Your credit may be reduced if you are entitled to a state tax credit or a state premium subsidy for the cost of health insurance coverage you provide under a qualifying arrangement to individuals considered employees. The state tax credit may be refundable or nonrefundable and the state premium subsidy may be paid to you or directly to your insurance provider.

Although a state tax credit or premium subsidy paid directly to you does not reduce the amount of your employer premiums paid, and a state premium subsidy paid directly to an insurance provider is treated as an employer premium you paid, the amount of your credit cannot be more than your net premium payments. Net premium payments are employer premiums paid minus the amount of any state tax credits you received or will receive and any state premium subsides paid either to you or directly to your insurance provider for premiums for health insurance coverage you provide under a qualifying arrangement to individuals considered employees.

Payroll Tax Limitation for Tax-Exempt Small Employers

If you are an eligible tax-exempt small employer, the credit cannot exceed the amount of certain payroll taxes. For tax years beginning in 2019, payroll taxes, for this purpose, mean only the following taxes:

  • Federal income taxes you were required to withhold from employees' wages in calendar year 2019.
  • Medicare taxes you were required to withhold from employees' wages in calendar year 2019.
  • Medicare taxes you were required to pay for calendar year 2019.

The Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace

You may be able to purchase health insurance for your employees through the SHOP Marketplace if you have fewer than 50 full time (or equivalent) employees (FTEs). For purposes of the SHOP Marketplace, a full time employee is an employee that is employed, on average, either:

  • 30 hours of service per week or
  • 130 hours of service per calendar month

For your other employees, determine the full time equivalents by adding their hours worked for each month (not more than 120 for each employee), and dividing that amount by 120.

SHOP eligibility is based on many factors, including your FTEs, but the requirements can vary from state to state. For more information about the eligibility requirements for SHOP, visit Healthcare.gov .

  • Small Business Health Care
  • The credit on IRS.gov
  • SHOP Marketplace on Healthcare.gov
  • Overview of SHOP on Healthcare.gov
  • Instructions for Form 8941

You can generally calculate your FTEs by adding up the hours of service for all of your employees and then dividing that by 2,080 (which is a full time employee - 40 hours a week at 52 weeks per year).

A minister performing services in the exercise of his or her ministry is treated as self-employed for Social Security and Medicare purposes.

Eligible Tax Exempt Employers

A tax-exempt small employer is an eligible small employer described in Section 501(c) that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(a). A tax-exempt employer not described in Section 501(c) is generally not eligible to claim this credit. However, a tax-exempt farmers' cooperative subject to tax under Section 1381 may be able to claim it as a general business credit.

Hours of Service

Net premium payments.

In the case of an employer receiving a State tax credit or State subsidy for providing health insurance to its employees, net premium payments are the excess of the employer’s actual premium payments over the State tax credit or State subsidy received by the employer.

In the case of a State payment directly to an insurance company (or another entity licensed under State law to engage in the business of insurance), the employer’s net premium payments are the employer’s actual premium payments.

If a State-administered program (such as Medicaid or another program that makes payments directly to a health care provider or insurance company on behalf of individuals and their families who meet certain eligibility guidelines) makes payments that are not contingent on the maintenance of an employer-provided group health plan, those payments are not taken into account in determining the employer’s net premium payments.

  • Federal income taxes and Medicare taxes you were required to withhold from employees’ wages during the calendar year.
  • Medicare taxes you were required to pay for the calendar year.

The state is where your employee is enrolled in coverage. It is used in determining whether the State Average Premium Limitation applies.

The amount of your premium payments that are taken into account in calculating the credit is limited to those you would have made under the same arrangement if the average premium for the small group market in the rating area in which your employees enroll for coverage were substituted for the actual premium.

State Subsidies and Tax Credits

Although a state tax credit or premium subsidy paid directly to you does not reduce the amount of your employer premiums paid, and although a state premium subsidy paid directly to an insurance provider is treated as an employer premium you paid, the amount of your credit cannot be more than your net premium payments. Net premium payments are employer premiums paid minus the amount of any state tax credits you received or will receive and any state premium subsides paid either to you or directly to your insurance provider for premiums for health insurance coverage you provide under a qualifying arrangement to individuals considered employees.

Total Wages

Wages, for this purpose, mean wages subject to Social Security and Medicare tax withholding determined without considering any wage base limit. If an individual is not considered an employee or is an excluded employee, his or her wages do not count. This includes:

  • Wages paid to any seasonal employees who worked 120 or fewer days during the tax year; and
  • Wages paid with respect to the initial year of service on which leased employee status is based.

Wages or compensation paid to ministers who are common-law employees for duties performed in the exercise of their ministry are not subject to FICA taxes and are not wages as defined in § 3121(a). So the wages of a minister who is a common law employee are not taken into account.

Short Taxable Year If an employer has a short taxable year, wages must be pro-rated (or annualized) in calculating the credit. For example, if a small employer has been in business (and paying premiums) for 6 months during its first taxable year, it must pro-rate the wages earned to reflect the 6 months the employer has been in operation.

To help you estimate your potential tax credit amount, input the data into the calculator to determine your estimated potential health insurance savings under the new health reform law. This tool is provided for your convenience and education concerning the small employer's tax credit. This tool is not intended to provide tax or legal advice, and you should not rely on the information provided without first consulting a tax professional regarding the final amount, and any questions you have relating to your unique circumstances. The tool provides an approximation of the tax credit based on the questions answered, the data provided, and the information currently available to the public from the IRS regarding the tax credit. A more detailed analysis by a tax professional may result in a different amount or might result in no credit.

  • Must not employ more than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for the taxable year,
  • Must cover at least 50 percent of the cost of health care coverage for certain workers based on the single rate.
  • The average annual compensation of those employees must not exceed $50,000 per employee per year,
  • Must maintain a qualifying arrangement.

In 2010, the maximum tax credit is 35% of employer-paid premiums; for tax-exempt organizations the maximum is 25% of premiums-paid.

Small businesses can claim the credit when they file their 2010 income tax return in 2011. Additional information will be posted to the IRS website when available.

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A comprehensive guide to small business insurance: Here’s how to safeguard your company

small business health insurance cost calculator

Starting your own business requires a significant investment of both time and money. Millions of people continue to step up to the challenge with 33 million small businesses active in the U.S. as of 2023. However, without a proper business insurance plan in place, you risk losing everything you worked so hard to build. 

According to a survey released by Next Insurance , 90% of business owners weren’t sure if they had adequate coverage. Worse, 29% had no business insurance coverage at all, leaving their business and investments vulnerable to natural disasters, theft or lawsuits.

Small business insurance provides critical protection for your business, but there are several different types of coverage. Understanding the options available and what to expect in terms of cost can help you find the right coverage for your business (and your budget).  

7 common types of small business insurance

A customer visits your store and slips and breaks his arm while browsing the store aisles. 

A fire breaks out and spreads to your warehouse, destroying your inventory. 

Or a thief breaks into the office and steals your laptop. 

Whatever the case may be, there are many unexpected and horrifying scenarios that can threaten your business. 

Like your personal car or homeowners insurance policy, small business insurance acts as a safety net for your business, protecting your business property and assets against common disasters or accidents. 

Whether you’re the sole employee of your own company or you have dozens of workers, your small business likely needs some form of protection. What kind of insurance your business needs depends on the type of work you do, the size of your operation and your location. These are some of the most common business insurance options:

Business owners policies (BOPs)

A BOP is actually an insurance package that combines several forms of coverage together, making it a simple option for small business owners. BOPs usually include general liability, property insurance and business interruption insurance. 

BOPs are often more cost-effective than purchasing each type of coverage separately, and you can customize your BOP with optional add-ons, such as cyber risk insurance or commercial auto coverage . 

General liability

General liability insurance protects you against financial losses that may result from bodily injuries or property damage that occur due to your business. For example, if a client is injured on your business premises, general liability coverage would help cover your legal bills, the medical bills of the affected person and any damages resulting from a lawsuit. 

Product liability

If you produce or sell products, product liability coverage protects you against losses that result from products that you make, distribute or sell. For example, if a customer needs medical attention after getting hurt by a product you manufactured, product liability insurance would help you with the legal and medical expenses. 

Professional liability 

Professional liability insurance covers your legal expenses and damages related to issues that result from your professional negligence or mistakes. 

Commercial property

If your business property, equipment or inventory is damaged by a storm, fire or theft, commercial property insurance will reimburse you for your losses. 

Home-based business

According to the Small Business Administration , more than half of all small businesses are home-based. If you run your business from your home, you’ll need separate coverage from your personal homeowners or renters insurance policy . 

Home-based business insurance provides added protection for your business equipment and supplies, as well as protection against liability issues that aren’t covered by your personal policies. 

Workers’ compensation

If you have employees, you’re usually required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation pays for your employees’ medical care and a portion of their wages if they’re injured or become ill while working. 

Other types of coverage

Beyond the seven main types of small business insurance, there are many other types of coverage. If your company works in particular industries or has specialized needs, you may need additional insurance. Some common add-ons include: 

  • Business interruption: If your business were forced to close due to a covered reason, such as storm damage, business interruption coverage will help cover your lost income. 
  • Commercial auto: If you have vehicles that you use for your business, including delivery trucks, you’ll need a separate commercial auto policy. 
  • Cyber liability: For businesses that sell or store customer information online, cyber liability insurance is a must. If your information — or your customers’ details — are compromised, cyber insurance covers the costs of system recovery efforts, notification expenses, fines and identity theft protection for your affected customers. 

How to purchase small business insurance 

To purchase small business insurance, follow these steps: 

  • Think about what coverage you need: Consider what kinds of insurance you need. For example, if you have company vehicles, you’ll likely need commercial auto coverage in addition to general liability and professional liability policies. And if your business operates in areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes, you may need separate commercial policies for those issues too. 
  • Shop around: Prices can vary significantly by insurer. Many insurers allow you to request quotes for small business insurance online; enter information about your company’s age, revenue, industry and employees, and the insurer will give you an estimate for your desired coverage. 
  • Contact an agent or broker: Once you know what kind of insurance you need, you can reach out to commercial insurance brokers or company agents to get exact pricing details and purchase a policy. 

According to Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications with the Insurance Information Institute , a broker can be a valuable resource as you begin the process. 

“A qualified broker can help a business owner collect all the information they will need to apply for a policy, and help them comparison shop among several options and quotes,” he said. “Before hiring [a broker], we recommend reviewing the broker’s background and experience as well as the services provided and any fees charged.”

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a tool you can use to find insurance agents and brokers in your area. 

Small business insurance FAQs  

Do i need small business insurance if i’m just starting out.

Many people put off purchasing coverage because of the expense, but according to Chris Rhodes, chief insurance officer of NEXT Insurance, that mindset could be a costly mistake. 

“Purchasing insurance should be one of, if not the first, things on your checklist as a new business owner,” he said. “Regardless of revenue or investment level, having insurance is crucial for protecting your future livelihood.”

At a minimum, simple BOP coverage or other basic forms of coverage are a good starting point. 

“As a rule of thumb, small business owners should purchase general liability or professional liability coverage as a first line of defense,” Rhodes said. 

How much does small business insurance cost?

The cost of small business insurance depends on several factors, including your company’s location, size and industry. BOP coverage, which bundles common insurance types onto one simple policy, typically costs between $40 and $170 per month.

What factors affect small business insurance costs?

Several factors affect cost, including: 

  • Service or product provided: Certain industries or business types, such as those in construction or transportation, are more likely to be involved in accidents, so premiums tend to be more expensive to offset the higher risk. 
  • Location: If you live in an area with a high cost of living or with a higher-than-average crime rate, your premiums will typically be higher. 
  • Size: If you have employees, your premiums will be much higher than that of a business owner who is a solopreneur. The larger the company, the more expensive your premiums will be. 

Does my state require business insurance?

If you have employees, federal law requires you to have workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance. But in some states, certain professions have additional insurance requirements. 

For example, in Colorado, physicians are required to have malpractice insurance. In Oregon, 

lawyers must maintain malpractice insurance with the state Professional Liability Fund. 

Visit your state professional association or regulatory commission to find out what coverage you’ll need. 

Do freelancers need business insurance?

Freelancers can benefit from business insurance, even if they don’t work in-person with customers. Basic coverage, including professional liability coverage, can protect against issues like lawsuits over mistakes or errors. 

The takeaway  

To ensure your business isn’t stalled or disrupted by weather, theft, accidents or lawsuits, small business insurance is a crucial purchase. As you begin shopping for insurance, request quotes from leading small business insurance companies . 

“As a general rule,” Friedlander said, “small business owners should get business insurance quotes from at least three different companies.”

Shopping around will help you find the best coverage at the lowest rate.

EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE : The advice, opinions, or rankings contained in this article are solely those of the Fortune Recommends ™ editorial team. This content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of our affiliate partners or other third parties.

Guide to small business insurance

The 10 best insurance companies for small businesses, 5 best small business insurance companies in california of 2024, 5 best small business insurance companies in new jersey of 2024, a comprehensive guide to small business insurance: here's how to safeguard your company.

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Qualified Business Income Deduction

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Many owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations and some trusts and estates may be eligible for a qualified business income (QBI) deduction – also called the Section 199A deduction – for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. The deduction allows eligible taxpayers to deduct up to 20 percent of their QBI, plus 20 percent of qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends and qualified publicly traded partnership (PTP) income. Income earned through a C corporation or by providing services as an employee is not eligible for the deduction. For more information on what qualifies as a trade or business, see Determining your qualified trades or businesses in the Instructions for Form 8995-A or Form 8995 .

The deduction is available regardless of whether taxpayers itemize deductions on Schedule A or take the standard deduction. Eligible taxpayers can claim the deduction for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and ending on or before December 31, 2025.

The deduction has two components.

  • QBI Component. This component of the deduction equals 20 percent of QBI from a domestic business operated as a sole proprietorship or through a partnership, S corporation, trust, or estate. The QBI Component is subject to limitations, depending on the taxpayer's taxable income which may include the type of trade or business, the amount of W-2 wages paid by the qualified trade or business, and the unadjusted basis immediately after acquisition (UBIA) of qualified property held by the trade or business. It may also be reduced by the patron reduction if the taxpayer is a patron of an agricultural or horticultural cooperative.
  • REIT/PTP Component. This component of the deduction equals 20 percent of qualified REIT dividends and qualified PTP income. This component is not limited by W-2 wages or the UBIA of qualified property. Depending on the taxpayer's taxable income, the amount of PTP income that qualifies may be limited depending on the type of the PTP's trade or business.

The deduction is limited to the lesser of the QBI component plus the REIT/PTP component or 20 percent of the taxpayer's taxable income minus net capital gain.

QBI is the net amount of qualified items of income, gain, deduction, and loss from any qualified trade or business, including income from partnerships, S corporations, sole proprietorships, and certain trusts. Generally, this includes, but is not limited to, the deductible part of self-employment tax, self-employed health insurance, and deductions for contributions to qualified retirement plans (e.g., SEP, SIMPLE and qualified plan deductions).

QBI does not include items such as:

  • Items that are not properly includable in taxable income
  • Investment items such as capital gains or losses
  • Interest income not properly allocable to a trade or business
  • Wage income
  • Income that is not effectively connected with the conduct of business within the United States
  • Commodities transactions or foreign currency gains or losses
  • Certain dividends and payments in lieu of dividends
  • Income, loss, or deductions from notional principal contracts
  • Annuities, unless received in connection with the trade or business
  • Amounts received as reasonable compensation from an S corporation
  • Amounts received as guaranteed payments from a partnership
  • Payments received by a partner for services other than in a capacity as a partner
  • Qualified REIT dividends

Solely for the purposes of section 199A, a safe harbor is available to individuals and owners of passthrough entities who seek to claim the deduction under section 199A with respect to a rental real estate enterprise. Under the safe harbor a rental real estate enterprise will be treated as a trade or business for purposes of the QBI deduction if certain criteria are met. For more information on the safe harbor, see  News Release IR-2019-158

An interest in rental real estate that does not meet the requirements of the safe harbor may still be treated as a trade or business for purposes of the QBI deduction if it otherwise is a section 162 trade or business.

In addition, the rental or licensing of tangible or intangible property that does not rise to the level of a section 162 trade or business is nevertheless treated as a qualified trade or business for purposes of section 199A if the rental or licensing of property is to a commonly controlled trade or business operated by the individual or a passthrough entity as provided in Treas. Reg. § 1.199A-1(b)(14).

More information:

  • Final Regulations PDF
  • Notice 2018-64
  • Instructions to Form 1040 PDF
  • Instructions to Form 8995-A PDF
  • Instructions to Form 8995 PDF
  • Publication 535 PDF
  • Tax Reform Basics for the Qualified Business Income Deduction (199A)

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How to Find the Best Travel Insurance

Elina Geller

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Table of Contents

What travel insurance covers

How much does travel insurance cost, types of travel insurance, how to get travel insurance, what to look for in travel insurance, best travel insurance comparison sites, which insurance company is best for travel insurance, when to skip travel insurance, travel insurance, recapped.

Travel insurance can cover medical expenses, emergencies, trip interruptions, baggage, rental cars and more.

Cost is affected by trip length, pre-existing medical conditions, depth of coverage, your age and add-ons.

You can get it through credit cards or third-party companies, & can shop on travel insurance comparison sites.

Before buying, evaluate risks, know existing coverage, obtain quotes online and review policy details warily.

Skip it if you buy flexible airfare and hotels, already have coverage or only book refundable activities.

Booking travel always carries some degree of uncertainty. Travel insurance provides a safety net so you can step out with confidence. You may not need travel insurance for inexpensive trips, but it can provide a sense of security when you prepay for pricey reservations, a big international trip or travel during cold and flu season, which can be unpredictable.

According to insurance comparison site Squaremouth, travelers in 2023 spent an average of $403 for comprehensive coverage, compared to $96 for medical-only policies. Comprehensive plans typically cost between 5% and 10% of the insured trip cost.

Since that price tag is no small amount, it helps to know how to shop smart for travel insurance. Here's how to find the right travel insurance plan for you and your next adventure.

Depending on the type of coverage you’re looking for, the chart below will help you determine what to look for when selecting a policy:

Depending on the policy, travel insurance reimburses you or offers services when something goes awry. There’s even coverage for the worst-case scenario: if you die in an accident while traveling. Accidental death coverage pays your beneficiary a lump sum in that case.

Before you buy, take a little time to get familiar with different types of travel insurance products, how it’s priced, and what it covers and excludes. If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, you’ll want to make sure that the policy you select covers coronavirus-related emergencies. Usually, the more thorough the coverage, the more it will cost.

Travel insurance costs vary depending on:

Length and cost of the trip: The longer and more expensive the trip, the higher the policy cost.

Cost of local health care: High health-care costs in your destination can drive up the price of trip insurance.

Medical conditions you want covered: Conditions you already have will increase the cost of travel insurance coverage.

Amount and breadth of coverage: The more risks a policy covers, the more it will cost.

Your age: Generally the older you are, the higher the price.

Any optional supplement you add to your policy : Cancel For Any Reason , Interrupt For Any Reason and more.

Keep these factors in mind when considering different travel insurance options.

You’ll find a wide selection of travel protection plans when you shop for a policy.

Typically, travel insurance is sold as a package, known as a comprehensive plan, which includes a variety of coverage.

Here are seven of the most common types of travel insurance:

Travel medical insurance

These plans provide health insurance while you’re away from home. Although in some ways these policies work like traditional health plans, generally you cannot use travel health insurance for routine medical events. For example, a routine medical checkup is usually not covered. In addition, these policies often include limitations on coverage and exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Although most travel insurance plans cover many recreational activities, such as skiing and horseback riding, they often exclude adventure sports, such as skydiving or parasailing, or competition in organized sporting events. You may need to buy a special travel policy designed for adventure or competitive sports.

International travel insurance

Most likely, your U.S.-based medical insurance will not work while you’re traveling internationally, and Medicare does not provide any coverage once you leave the United States outside of a few very specific exemptions. If you plan on traveling abroad, purchasing travel medical insurance could make a lot of sense.

» Learn more: Travel medical insurance: Emergency coverage while you travel internationally

Trip cancellation, interruption and delay

Trip cancellation coverage reimburses you for prepaid, nonrefundable expenses if the tour operator goes out of business or you have to cancel the trip for one of the covered reasons outlined in the policy, such as:

Your own illness.

The illness or death of a family member who’s not traveling with you.

Natural disasters.

Trip interruption insurance covers the nonrefundable cost of the unused portion of the trip if it is interrupted due to a reason outlined in the policy.

Trip delay coverage reimburses you for expenses such as lodging and meals if you’re delayed during a trip (e.g., your flight gets canceled due to weather ).

Many package policies cover all three. These policies are different from the cancellation waivers that cruise lines and tour operators offer, the Insurance Information Institute says. Waivers are cheap, ranging from $40 to $60, and often include restrictions. For example, according to the institute, waivers might not refund your money if you cancel immediately before departure. Waivers are technically not insurance policies.

Some companies offer additional layers of coverage at extra cost. “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage will reimburse a large part of the trip cost, no matter why you back out. And some companies let you pay extra to cover pre-existing conditions if you cancel for medical reasons.

Some insurers and comparison sites let you customize a policy by choosing types of coverage a la carte. For example, TravelInsurance.com is a comparison site that provides quotes from different providers.

Baggage and personal belongings

How does lost luggage insurance work? This coverage reimburses you for baggage and personal belongings that are lost, stolen or damaged during the trip. Some plans also reimburse you for extra expenses if you experience a baggage delay for more than a certain period, such as 12 hours.

Your renters or homeowners insurance may cover personal belongings while you are traveling. It’s best to review your homeowners insurance policy to determine the level of coverage it provides so you do not end up paying for a benefit you already have.

» Learn more: Baggage insurance explained

Emergency medical assistance, evacuation and repatriation

This coverage pays medical expenses if you get sick or injured on a trip . Medical evacuation coverage pays for transporting you to the nearest hospital, and medical repatriation pays for flying you to your home country.

» Learn more: Can I get travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions?

24-hour assistance

This service is included with many package plans. The insurer provides a 24-hour hotline that you can call when you need help, such as booking a flight after a missed connection, finding lost luggage, or locating a doctor or lawyer.

Generally, travel insurance companies do not cover sports or any activity that can be deemed risky. If you’re thinking of incorporating adventurous activities into your vacation, choose a plan that includes adventure sports coverage.

Most travel insurers cover a wide array of services, but the specific options vary. Some plans include concierge services, providing help with restaurant referrals, tee time reservations and more. Many services also offer information before the trip, such as required vaccinations. The only way to know what’s included is to read the policy.

» Learn more: Should you insure your cruise?

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance

This coverage pays a lump sum to your beneficiary, such as a family member, if you die in an accident while on the trip. Accidental death and dismemberment insurance policies also pay a portion of the sum to you if you lose a hand, foot, limb, eyesight, speech or hearing. Some plans apply only to accidental death in a plane.

This coverage may be duplicative if you already have sufficient life insurance, which pays out whether you die in an accident or from an illness. You may also already have accidental death and dismemberment insurance through work, so it's best to check your policies to ensure you’re not overpaying.

» Learn more: NerdWallet's guide to life insurance

Rental car coverage

Rental car insurance pays for repairing your rental car if it’s damaged in a wreck, by vandals or in a natural disaster. The coverage doesn't include liability insurance, which pays for damage to other vehicles or for the medical treatment of others if you cause an accident and are held responsible.

Ask your car insurance company whether your policy will cover you when renting cars on the trip. U.S. car insurance policies generally don’t cover you when driving in other countries, except Canada.

Car insurance requirements are complex because they vary among countries. You can usually purchase liability insurance from the rental car company. Learn about car insurance requirements by searching for auto insurance by country on the U.S. Embassy website .

» Learn more: Best credit cards for rental car coverage

A note about single vs. long-term policies

Single trip insurance plans are a great option for those going on a single trip for a specific length of time (e.g., a two-week vacation) and then returning home. The price of the policy is usually determined by the cost of the trip.

Long-term travel policies cover you for multiple trips, but there are limitations to how long you can be away from home, if you can return home during your travels and how many trips you can take. In addition, trip cancellation and interruption coverage is either not offered or capped at a dollar amount that can be significantly below the total cost of all the trips taken during the covered period.

Long-term travel insurance plans — often called 'multi-trip' or 'annual travel insurance' — are a suitable option for those who travel often and are satisfied with the amount of trip cancellation coverage for all the trips they take over the duration of the policy.

» Learn more: How annual (multi-trip) travel insurance works

Below, we include how to obtain travel insurance, along with the pros and cons of each option.

Some credit cards offer trip cancellation and rental car insurance if you use the card to book the trip or car.

When you book a trip with your credit card, depending on the card you use, you may already receive trip cancellation and interruption coverage.

» Learn more: 10 credit cards that provide travel insurance

Here are a handful of credit cards with travel insurance benefits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on American Express' website

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Travel accident: Up to $500,000.

• Rental car insurance: Up to $75,000.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 6 hours.

• Travel accident: Up to $1 million.

• Rental car insurance: Up to the actual cash value of the car.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per trip for delays more than 6 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

Terms apply.

Pros: Coverage is free.

Cons: You can’t customize the insurance to meet your needs. Most credit cards offer secondary car rental insurance, which pays for the costs not covered by your regular car insurance plan.

Travel agents and travel reservation sites

You can buy travel insurance when you book your flight, hotel and car rental.

Pros: Buying is as quick and easy as clicking “yes” when you book reservations. Coverage is inexpensive.

Cons: You can’t customize the coverage.

» Learn more: Airline travel insurance vs. independent travel insurance

Travel insurance comparison sites

You can compare different policies and review quotes at once based on the trip search criteria you’ve input into the search form. Examples include marketplaces like Squaremouth or TravelInsurance.com.

Pros: You can choose a policy that fits your needs and compare policies and pricing in one place.

Cons: Comparing multiple policies takes time.

Travel insurance companies

You can purchase travel insurance directly from an insurance provider.

Pros: You can choose a policy that fits your needs. Many travel insurer websites also offer information to help you understand the coverage.

Cons: You’ll need to go to multiple websites to compare coverage and pricing.

» Learn more: The best travel insurance companies right now

Keep these tips in mind when you’re considering a trip insurance policy.

Evaluate the financial risks you face when traveling. Can you bear those costs yourself, or do you want insurance?

Examine what coverage you already have: Does your credit card offer travel insurance? Do you have renters or homeowners insurance to cover belongings? What is the deductible? Will your health plan cover you in all the locations where you travel?

Get quotes for trip insurance online. Choose a package of the benefits you need and compare prices for similar coverage among carriers.

Narrow your choices and then read the policy fine print to understand what’s covered, what’s excluded and the limits on coverage. You may find that the lowest-priced policy is too restrictive and that paying a little more gets you the coverage you need. Or you might find that the cheapest, most basic policy fits the bill.

If you don’t know which provider to go with, it makes sense to browse a list of plans on a travel insurance comparison site. These online marketplaces will often include plans from the best travel insurance companies along with customer reviews.

Squaremouth

small business health insurance cost calculator

Compare plans from more than 30 providers.

Over 86,000 customer reviews of insurers.

Under its Zero Complaint Guarantee, Squaremouth (a NerdWallet partner) will remove a provider if any customer complaint isn't resolved to its satisfaction.

Has a filter option to see policies that provide COVID-coverage.

TravelInsurance.com

small business health insurance cost calculator

Compare plans from 13 providers.

See good and poor customer ratings and reviews for each insurer when you receive quotes.

“Learning Center” includes travel insurance articles and travel tips, including important how-to information.

Quotes provided from each provider include a link to COVID-19 FAQs, making it easy for customers to review what’s covered or not.

InsureMyTrip

small business health insurance cost calculator

Compare plans from more than two dozen providers.

More than 70,000 customer reviews.

“Anytime Advocates” help customers navigate the claim process and will work on behalf of the customer to help with appealing a denied claim.

Includes a link to plans that offer COVID coverage.

small business health insurance cost calculator

Compare plans from 11 providers.

Search coverage by sporting activity, including ground, air and water sports.

Many types of plans available for students, visiting family members, new immigrants, those seeking COVID quarantine coverage and more.

small business health insurance cost calculator

Compare different insurance plans from 35 providers.

Over 5,600 customer reviews on Trustpilot, with an average 4.9 stars out of five.

Formerly known as AardvarkCompare, AARDY includes a “Travel Insurance 101” learning center to help customers understand various policies and benefits.

Quote search results page includes COVID-coverage highlighted in a different color to make it easier for customers to review related limits.

Whether you’re looking for an international travel insurance plan, emergency medical care, COVID coverage or a policy that includes extreme sports, these providers have you covered.

Our full analysis and more details about each organization can be found here: The Best Travel Insurance Companies Today .

Allianz Global Assistance .

Travel Guard by AIG .

USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services .

Travel Insured International .

World Nomads .

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection .

Travelex Insurance Services .

Seven Corners .

AXA Assistance USA .

There are a few scenarios when spending extra on travel insurance doesn't really make sense, like:

You booked flexible airline tickets.

Your hotel room has a good cancellation policy.

It's already included in your credit card.

You haven't booked any nonrefundable activities.

» Learn more: When you don't need travel insurance

Yes, especially for nonrefundable trips and travel during the COVID-era. Whether you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy or have travel insurance from your credit card, you shouldn't travel without having some sort of travel protection in place to safeguard you and your trip. Travel insurance can protect you in case of an unexpected emergency such as a canceled flight due to weather, a medical event that requires hospitalization, lost luggage and more.

There are many good travel insurance policies out there and a policy that may be great for you may not be good for someone else. Selecting the best plan depends on what coverage you would like and your trip details.

For example, World Nomads offers a comprehensive travel insurance policy that has excellent coverage for adventure sports. Allianz provides coverage for trips of varying lengths of time through its single trip plans and multi-trip plans. Some providers offer add-on options like Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance. If you’re not sure which plan to go with, consider looking at trip insurance comparison sites like Squaremouth or Insuremytrip.

Yes, you can. However, it's better to purchase it sooner rather than later, ideally right after booking your trip because the benefits begin as soon as you purchase a policy.

Let’s say you’re going on a trip in a month and a week before departure, you fall and break your leg. If you’ve purchased a travel insurance policy, you can use your trip cancellation benefits to get your nonrefundable deposit back.

Most comprehensive travel insurance plans offer trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical and dental, medical evacuation, trip delay and lost luggage coverage. Many plans offer COVID coverage, but you’ll always want to check to ensure that the policy you choose provides that benefit if you’re traveling during these times. Some plans may also allow you to add features like Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance.

It depends which credit card you have. Premium travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express offer travel insurance benefits if you book a trip using your card or points.

However, the coverage provided by the credit cards is usually lower than if you purchased a standalone policy. Review the travel insurance benefits on your credit card and check that the limits are adequate before foregoing from purchasing a separate plan.

Let’s say you’re going on a trip in a month and a week before departure, you fall and break your leg. If you’ve purchased a travel insurance policy, you can use your

trip cancellation benefits

to get your nonrefundable deposit back.

It depends which credit card you have. Premium travel cards like the

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Platinum Card® from American Express

offer travel insurance benefits if you book a trip using your card or points.

Unpredictability is one of the mind-opening joys of travel, but travel insurance should contain no surprises. The time you spend to understand your options will be well worth the peace of mind as you embark on your next adventure.

Whether you’re seeking a single or a long-term policy, each travel insurance option offers different strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right policy depends on your trip needs, your budget and how important various benefits are to you.

Keep reading

If you want to dig in deeper to world of travel insurance, these resources will point you in the right direction.

What is travel insurance? How much is travel insurance? Is travel insurance worth it? What does travel insurance cover? Does travel insurance cover COVID?

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

1x-10x Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

1x-2x Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

30,000 Limited-time offer: Earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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How we cut employee health care costs in half by making direct contracts with providers

Lincoln National Bank

The U.S. economy is improving, but businesses still face numerous threats. At the top of this list is the outrageous cost of employer-sponsored health insurance. The average annual employer-sponsored family health premium  reached $24,000 in 2023 , a 50% increase over the past decade, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. These high costs suppress business profit margins and workers' wages.

At Lincoln National Bank, which has 115 employees in Central Kentucky, we've shown that businesses have the power to reverse runaway health benefits costs. Like many companies, we were facing annual double-digit increases in health insurance costs. In 2019, we revamped and took control of our company's health plan by contracting with price-transparent providers. Since then, we've cut plan costs by 50%. We shared these savings with employees by cutting premiums and deductibles in half.

Price transparency prevents health care providers from overbilling

The first step we took was getting rid of our overcharging health insurance carrier and pharmacy benefit manager. They were blocking access to billing claims data we needed to understand which providers were overbilling. Armed with claims information, employer health plans can audit their health plan costs, analyze charges before paying provider bills and prevent overpayments. By being well-informed, employers can better design health plans to encourage employees to get the care they need at the highest quality and lowest price. 

By analyzing our claims data, we found our health plan was being charged $3,300 for MRIs that can be acquired for $400 and $11,000 a month for a medication that can be acquired for $300. We also identified a bundled surgery for 30% of our previous insurance carrier's price. 

It cost me my job: Health insurance made me jump through hoops to get the treatment I need.

Many employers are being denied access to this critical billing claims data by their health insurance companies. Some major employers  have even had to sue  their insurance carriers after finding they've been significantly overcharged and blocked access to this pricing and payment information. Kentucky Rep. Brett Guthrie, chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee,  presided over a recent hearing  in the U.S. House of Representatives revealing these problems and discussing the importance of healthcare price transparency. 

When consumers don't know actual health care prices, costs vary wildly due to a lack of market pressure. Prices for common medical services in Kentucky fluctuate by an average of 31 times , depending on the hospital and insurer, according to a recent study by  PatientRightsAdvocate.org .

No employer would tolerate paying 31 times more for vendors or supplies than their competitor down the street. Nor should they tolerate paying 31 times more for the same health care.

Legislative support is needed to hold the health care industry accountable

Bipartisan congressional price transparency legislation can make it easier for other employers to follow our lead. House and Senate negotiators  are currently working on reconciling  their respective healthcare price transparency bills into a final package that can be included in one of the upcoming spending bills. It's critical that the final legislation include real-time employer access to digital claims data as receipts of payment so we can easily compare prices to avoid overbilling and hold the healthcare industry accountable. The Senate version, the Health Care PRICE Transparency Act 2.0 , includes this vital provision.

Congressional leadership, including Rep. Guthrie and Sen. Mitch McConnell, will be critical to ushering in this bipartisan legislation that can empower employers with a competitive healthcare marketplace for the first time. 

Our health plan has made contracts with ambulatory surgical centers, centers of excellence and imaging centers at fractions of what big hospitals charged under the previous plan. This model allows the bank to cut out the countless middle players, including claims processors and adjudicators, that drive up health plan costs and hide necessary information. Our employees now enjoy primary and ancillary care for free and prescriptions for $1.

Not every employer will pursue such radical rethinks of their health plans. But with some help from Washington, they will soon be able to access their claims information to begin making cost-conscious decisions that protect profit margins and employee wages, boosting the American economy in the process.  

Griffin Meredith is Secretary of the Board at Lincoln National Bank. 

Cost of Living in Moscow

small business health insurance cost calculator

This guide was written prior to Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine and is therefore not reflective of the current situation. Travel to Russia is currently not advisable due to the area's volatile political situation.

The cost of living in Moscow is quite high but is largely dependent on an expat's lifestyle. Expats working in Moscow who earn a decent salary will be able to manage day-to-day costs just fine, especially in comparison to those in major cities such as New York and London. Additionally, expats may be lured to Moscow by lucrative employment packages which offer benefits including private health insurance, a driver and schooling allowances.

While there are a few expenses in Moscow that expats will not be able to avoid, such as accommodation, many expats can decrease their cost of living through their choice of lifestyle . Living like the locals, which could involve cooking at home most nights and not spending large amounts of money on going out and visiting expensive tourist attractions, would certainly decrease expats living expenses, for example. 

Cost of accommodation in Moscow

Housing will likely be an expat’s largest expense in the Russian capital. Expats living in central areas can expect to spend more than a third of their monthly salary on rent. New arrivals looking for accommodation on a budget should consider exploring the areas and suburbs outside the city centre, while still bearing in mind public transport connections.

Additionally, while utilities may be cheaper than in major European capitals, expats in Moscow should budget for water, electricity and gas. These are not always included in the monthly rental and could be additional expenses.

Cost of transport in Moscow

From the metro, buses and minibus shuttles known as marshrutka to taxis and self-driving, there are many options for getting around. Each comes with its own costs, and expats may be pleasantly surprised by the affordability of transport in Moscow . Public transport tickets are fairly cheap, and petrol prices also fall below the global average.

Expats who plan on driving in Moscow may need to invest in car insurance, while others may opt to hire a driver. These may add to an expat's general expenses.

Cost of education and schools in Moscow

Families relocating with children will most likely need to cover the cost of school fees. Most expats who face a language barrier in Russia send their children to a private or international school that follows the same language and curriculum as their home country. Fees at international schools can be high, and preschool fees for young children are also fairly costly. Where possible, we recommend expats negotiate an allowance for school fees in their employment contract.

Cost of groceries in Moscow

The cost of groceries in Moscow can be comparable to or higher than prices in other major international cities. Prices for necessities like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products can be relatively affordable, while speciality items are generally pricier.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Moscow

The cost of entertainment and eating out in Moscow can vary greatly and largely depends on the type of establishment. On the whole, though Russian prices are generally quite reasonable, prices in Moscow can be higher than what expats might expect. In terms of entertainment options, Moscow offers a wide variety of options to suit various interests and tastes. From visiting museums, theatres and concert halls to enjoying outdoor activities, expats will find a range of options to keep themselves entertained.

Cost of living chart for Moscow

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows the average cost of living in Moscow before Russia's war in Ukraine and was last updated prior to 2022. 

Further reading

►An expat's expenses depend on their personal preferences and lifestyle choices. Get some insights on the lifestyle in Moscow

►For more info on expenses in the country as a whole, read Cost of Living in Russia

Expat Experiences "Meat, poultry and milk products are considerably cheaper compared to Indonesia. But fish and tropical fruits are as expensive as gold." Eva, an expat from Indonesia, shares her experience of moving to Moscow in her interview with Expat Arrivals . 

Are you an expat living in Moscow?

Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Moscow. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance. Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Get a quote from Cigna Global
Aetna Aetna International, offering comprehensive global medical coverage, has a network of 1.3 million medical providers worldwide. You will have the flexibility to choose from six areas of coverage, including worldwide, multiple levels of benefits to choose from, plus various optional benefits to meet your needs. Get your free no-obligation quotes now!

Moving Internationally?

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices. Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget. Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!
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SHOP Marketplace basics for employers

The small business health care tax credit, see if you qualify for savings.

  • You have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
  • Your average employee salary is about $56,000 per year or less
  • You pay at least 50% of your full-time employees' premium costs
  • You offer SHOP coverage to all of your full-time employees. (You don't have to offer it to dependents or employees working fewer than 30 hours per week to qualify for the tax credit.)

Higher benefits for smaller businesses

  • See all SHOP tools, calculators, fact sheets, how-to guides, videos, and other resources for employers.
  • Contact the SHOP Call Center at 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 1-888-201-6445).
  • The Internal Revenue Service has more information about  the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit .

More answers: The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

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  1. The Ultimate Guide to Small Business Health Insurance

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  2. Average Cost of Small Business Health Insurance 2021

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  3. What Are The Costs for Small Business Health Insurance?

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  5. 2022 Health Insurance Cost Calculator

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  6. Understanding Health Insurance

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  1. How Much Does Small-Business Health Insurance Cost?

    Find out how much it costs to provide health insurance to your employees using small-group health insurance plans. Learn about the factors that affect the cost, such as the number of employees, the type of plan, the location and the industry. Compare different options and get quotes from providers.

  2. Tools and calculators to help you apply

    The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit Estimator The SHOP FTE Calculator Calculates if your mix of full-time and part-time employees equals between 1-50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Generally, only businesses with 1-50 FTEs are eligible for SHOP. Have this information ready when using the calculator:

  3. What's the Cost of Small Business Health Insurance?

    Updated Sep 28, 2023 Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area Currently insured? Find Insurers No spam. No hassle. No hidden costs. Employers paid an average of $6,584 in annual health insurance costs for a single worker and $16,357 for a family policy in 2022. As a small business owner, you are not required by law to offer health insurance.

  4. Best Small Business Health Insurance Providers Of 2024

    Forbes Advisor evaluates large insurance providers that offer ACA marketplace plans for small business owners. Kaiser Permanente and Blue Cross Blue Shield score the best in terms of plan availability, provider network, and cost. UnitedHealthcare also receives high marks. Learn how to buy health insurance for your small business through the SHOP Marketplace or directly from a provider.

  5. Best Small-Business Group Health Insurance Plans

    Best overall: Blue Cross Blue Shield Best for low-cost plan options: Kaiser Permanente Best for customer service: Humana Best for health expense funds: Aetna (CVS Health) MORE LIKE THIS...

  6. Best Health Insurance Companies for Small Businesses for 2024

    Depending on your state, you may have a few options for finding health coverage for your employees, including through the Small Business Health Insurance Options Program (SHOP)—a...

  7. Understanding Small Business Health Insurance Costs

    Calculate the average cost of small business health insurance per employee based on the type of plan, coverage, and tax credits. Learn how to compare group health insurance plans and find one that suits your business and employees.

  8. Health insurance for businesses

    Tools & calculators See SHOP plans & prices Tax credit estimator FTE employee calculator Find Local Help tool How to register with SHOP How to sell SHOP coverage Additional resources for agents & brokers Exploring coverage options for businesses Learn more about individual coverage HRAs Learn more about QSEHRAs

  9. Small Business Health Insurance Costs

    An average monthly premium of $651 for single coverage per covered worker in small firms. An average monthly premium of $1,817 for family coverage per covered workers in small firms. Why does the average cost of small business health insurance tend to be lower than that of individual coverage?

  10. 2024 SHOP health plan information for small businesses

    If you're looking for SHOP health coverage for 2024, preview 2024 SHOP plans and prices.

  11. Small Business Health Options Program

    Tools & calculators See SHOP plans & prices Tax credit estimator FTE employee calculator Find Local Help tool SHOP for Agents & Brokers How to register with SHOP How to sell SHOP coverage Additional resources for agents & brokers Other Information for Businesses Exploring coverage options for businesses Learn more about individual coverage HRAs

  12. Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator

    The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator shows the cost of silver and bronze plans in your area. Silver plans are important because these are used as a "benchmark" for calculating how much...

  13. Small Business Health Insurance Plans & Group Options

    Here's what you need to know: An average eHealth small business plan covers 5 people and costs $1432 per month in premiums - or $286 per person. You may qualify for a tax credit that could cover some of the costs you pay for employees' premiums. This credit reimburses qualifying small businesses for up to 50% of the premiums paid toward health ...

  14. Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and the SHOP Marketplace

    For tax year 2017, the inflation-adjusted amount is $53,000. Offer a qualified health plan to its employees through a Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace (or qualify for a limited exception to this requirement) Pay at least 50 percent of the cost of employee-only - not family or dependent - health care coverage for each employee.

  15. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

    The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit This credit is designed to help you offset the costs of providing health insurance to your employees. If you're a small employer and meet certain requirements, the credit can be up to 50% (35% for eligible tax exempt employers) of the premiums you pay for providing health insurance.

  16. Affordable Care Act Estimator Tools

    The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit Estimator can help you determine if you might be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and how much credit you might receive. This tool provides you with an estimate for tax year 2014 and beyond. However, some figures used in determining the credit are indexed for inflation.

  17. Small Business Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit Calculator

    To help you estimate your potential tax credit amount, input the data into the calculator to determine your estimated potential health insurance savings under the new health reform law. This tool is provided for your convenience and education concerning the small employer's tax credit.

  18. Sole Proprietor Business Insurance: Costs And Types You Need

    The average cost for professional liability insurance for sole proprietors is $61 per month and workers compensation costs an average of $45 per month. Your sole proprietorship business insurance ...

  19. A comprehensive guide to small business insurance

    Starting your own business requires a significant investment of both time and money. Millions of people continue to step up to the challenge with 33 million small businesses active in the U.S. as ...

  20. Small Business Health Insurance Calculator Feb 2024

    4.9 stars - 1641 reviews Small Business Health Insurance Calculator - If you are looking for a way to find different types of quotes then try our popular online service.

  21. How much does health insurance cost in 2024?

    For families, the total annual premium averaged at $23,968 — or about $1,997 per month. Those prices are higher than they were in 2022, with both family and individual group health plan premiums ...

  22. Qualified Business Income Deduction

    QBI is the net amount of qualified items of income, gain, deduction, and loss from any qualified trade or business, including income from partnerships, S corporations, sole proprietorships, and certain trusts. Generally, this includes, but is not limited to, the deductible part of self-employment tax, self-employed health insurance, and ...

  23. How to Find the Best Travel Insurance

    Auto insurance calculator; Total auto cost calculator; Personal finance. ... View all small business. Business loans; ... generally you cannot use travel health insurance for routine medical ...

  24. What's the Real Cost of Opening a Restaurant

    In breaking down their findings, Restaurant Owner noted that: The average cost to open came out to $124 per square foot, or $2,710 per seat. Construction costs average $250,000, with $85,000 of that comprised of kitchen and bar equipment, and $20,000 dedicated to pre-opening and training costs.

  25. How Much Does an Ambulance Ride Cost?

    The cost of ambulance services has been marching higher in recent years. The list price (before insurance or discounts) of an ambulance ride rose 22% — to more than $1,277 — between 2017 and 2020, according to a report from data nonprofit organization Fair Health. Private insurers' average payments, or "allowed amounts," are up 56% ...

  26. Businesses can cut employee healthcare costs with direct contracts

    The U.S. economy is improving, but businesses still face numerous threats. At the top of this list is the outrageous cost of employer-sponsored health insurance. The average annual employer ...

  27. Cost of Living in Moscow

    The list below shows the average cost of living in Moscow before Russia's war in Ukraine and was last updated prior to 2022. Accommodation (monthly rent) Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre. RUB 135,000. Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre. RUB 73,000. One-bedroom apartment in the city centre. RUB 70,000.

  28. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

    You may qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit that could be worth up to 50% of the costs you pay for your employees' premiums (35% for non-profit employers). See if you qualify for savings. You have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Your average employee salary is about $56,000 per year or less.

  29. How To Choose A Slip-and-Fall Lawyer

    Slip-and-fall cases are fall under a body of law called premises liability law or tort law. This law applies if you slip on someone's property when you are not at work. Make sure the lawyer you ...