Open Enrollment: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

It is estimated that there are more than 5.7 million small business or self-employed employees registered in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) markets. Additionally, more than half of all ACA market enrollees are small business owners, self-employed individuals, or small business employees.

That’s an impressive number when you consider that small businesses, according to the ACA guidelines, are those companies with fewer than 100 employees. States had the option to limit gatherings to companies with 50 or fewer employees, as California did, for example.

The reason this is important is that business owners with fewer than 100 full-time employees (FTEs) are not required by the ACA to offer health insurance options to their workers.

Regardless of what definition one uses to define “small businesses,” the truth is that they make up the bulk of all businesses in the United States.

However, tens of thousands of these companies do just that. And if you’re reading this article, you probably also provide employer-sponsored health care to your employees — or you’re thinking about it right now.

Open enrollment, small group health coverage, and ACA

You may be familiar with the concept of “open enrollment” for health insurance. According to one legal siteAnd the

“Open enrollment is the time of year when individuals and families can enroll in a health insurance plan for the following calendar year. This is the only time each year that existing employees can make changes to their health insurance policy, unless they have had a major life change ( It’s often called a qualifying life event, or QLE).

However, while your current employees have to wait for the open enrollment period to make changes to their plans or sign up for the first time, most small business owners can Started Submit health coverage plans at any time of the year.

The The website states that the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is for small employers who want to provide health and/or dental insurance for their employees. If you qualify, owners do not have to wait for the open enrollment period and can start offering SHOP coverage to their employees at any time of the year.

The store option is available to small employers, generally those with 1 to 50 full-time employees and full-time workers.

Another option for small business owners looking to start offering health insurance to their workers is to work directly with an agent or broker. JC Lewis, for example, offers health insurance plans only from leading health insurers. We are licensed and approved by every moving company to offer coverage to employers of small groups of 1 to 50 employees.

Registration open 2022-2023

According to, open enrollment for 2023 begins on November 1, 2022, and ends on January 15, 2023, in most states. Usually, some states, such as California, have an extended expiration date.

During this time, employees usually make any changes or choose to continue with their existing plans. However, small businesses can enroll in health insurance at any time. Just keep in mind that benefits may start on the 1st or 15th of the following month for most insurance companies.

If you already have an existing small group health plan, now is the time to notify your employees of the upcoming open enrollment period.

  • In October, create packages for employees with important information and notify employees to review packages and make selections
  • In November, remind employees to make choices
  • In December/January, send papers to carriers

On January 1, 2023usually all changes, additions, or deletions made by employees to their plans take effect.

Small group health insurance benefits

Providing health insurance options to employees also provides benefits for the employer.

For example, small business owners who choose to purchase a SHOP plan may also be eligible for Healthcare tax credit. The maximum tax credit covers 50 percent of premiums paid for health coverage. To be eligible, you must:

  • Have less than 25 full-time employees (FTE)
  • Pay an average wage of $56,000 per year or less per full-time equivalent
  • Offer a qualified shop plan to your employees
  • Pay 50% or more of coverage costs (employee only) to each employee

Another benefit for employers is having affordable health coverage for themselves and their families.

Providing affordable, high-quality health care insurance to employees results in a healthier workforce, fewer sick days, greater productivity, stronger employee retention and a more competitive benefits package.


Contact JC LEWIS Insurance to plan health insurance for your small group

At JC Lewis Insurances Services, we understand your desire to provide your employees with the best benefits package you can offer. But we also understand that there are many factors and considerations involved when choosing a health coverage plan.

As a California family owned and operated family health insurance agent licensed to do business in California, we specialize in medical insurance plans for small businesses and complementary and prescription drug plans for seniors.

We can customize our recommendations to your specific needs since we are licensed by most major California carriers. And with JC Lewis Insurance Services, you can save time and money, and we can quickly identify your specific needs and recommend the best products and prices to meet those needs.

When you choose medical insurance for you and your employees, you will likely have many questions and concerns. JC Lewis Insurance Services welcomes your questions about small group health coverage, and you can trust that we will help you find the right solutions.

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