ME Small Business Health Insurance Plans
Maine Small Business Health Insurance Plans 2022. The following is an overview of the rules that govern small group health insurance plans in the State of Maine.
The information that is discussed below includes the laws that have been mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare"), as well as the laws that are required by Maine State government.
If you own and operate a ME small business and you already offer small group health insurance or you're thinking about offering small group health insurance - this guide can help you better understand the regulations, requirements and available Maine small business health insurance plans available.
Learn how to get Maine small business health insurance plans for 1 to 50 employees. The best small business health insurance providers in ME offer affordable rates, flexible coverage options and access to a large network of medical providers.
Below are some answers to commonly asked ME small business health insurance plan questions:
- How Much Does Maine Small Business Health Insurance Cost?
- What Are The Small Business Health Insurance Regulations In Maine?
- Does Maine Participate In The Affordable Care Act?
- What Are The Affordable Care Act Requirements For Maine Small Businesses?
- How Are ME Health Insurance Premiums Are Determined?
- What Types Of Health Insurance Plans Are Available For Maine Small Businesses?
How Much Does Maine Small Business Health Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard Maine small business health insurance policy ranges from around $583 to over $1706 per employee per month based on; single or family, location, coverages offered, deductibles and more.
What Are The Small Business Health Insurance Regulations In Maine?
In the State of Maine, there are laws that govern small business health insurance. According to state law, companies that offer small business health insurance must sell small group policies to all qualified small businesses that apply.
Additionally, small businesses that employ more than 2 but fewer than 50 employees must be legally offered the same small group health insurance that are sold to other Maine small businesses.
If you're small business qualifies for health insurance, according to state law, you must also meet the minimum participation requirement, which can be established by the health insurance company that is supplying your policy. If you do not meet the pre-determined minimum level of participation that the health insurance company requires, they are legally allowed to terminate your policy.
On top of this stipulation, there are some health insurance companies in Maine that require employers to pay a certain percentage of their employees' premiums prior to agreeing to sell the Maine small business health insurance plans.
While all small businesses must be offered the same health insurance policies with the same benefits, the price of coverage may vary. Though it is illegal for health insurance companies to charge higher premiums to a group due to pre-existing conditions or their gender, the company can base policy premiums on other key factors, such as the age or the family size of the group.
It is also illegal for small business health insurance companies to terminate an approved small group health insurance policy on the grounds of illness.
According to Consumers for Affordable Health Care, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the name given to the health care reform law enacted on March 23, 2010. This law was created to increase the quality and decrease the cost of health insurance. It has put in place many protections and programs to help reduce the number of uninsured and underinsured people.
Does Maine Participate In The Affordable Care Act?
In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "ObamaCare") was passed by the United States Congress and was signed into law by Obama. Following its passage, provisions of the law have continued to be phased in, and as of January 1, 2014, the majority of American citizens and legal residents of the United States are required, by law, to have qualifying health care coverage.
If they fail to have coverage, they are responsible for paying an annual tax penalty for each month they aren't insured, which is known as the "individual mandate".
The cost of the penalty for failure to have qualifying coverage is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, or 1% of your total taxable income; whichever amount is higher - as much as $285 per family. In 2017, the penalty increased, and has continued to increase thereafter.
Qualifying Exemptions For The Individual Mandate
Individuals who meet one of the following are exempt from the individual mandate and the associated tax penalties in ME:
- Illegal aliens
- Jailed individuals
- Religious objections
- The cost of health insurance coverage is higher than 8% of your household income
- Those who aren't covered for less than three months during the calendar year
- Those who have hardship waivers
- Your income level is blow the 100% poverty level
What Are The Affordable Care Act Requirements For Maine Small Businesses?
If you're a small business owner in Maine, you must provide your employees with insurance. This is a requirement that was put into place by the Affordable Care Act.
Referred to as the Employer Shared Responsibility provision, all employers must offer their employees at least one of the ACA-compliant Maine small business health insurance plans, otherwise then can face fines of up to $2,000 per employee.
Maine small business owners can purchase coverage for their employees through the state's Small Health Option Program (SHOP) exchange, or from a private insurance agent or broker.
Affordable Care Act Standardized Essential Health Benefits
As per the ACA, all qualifying health insurance plans must offer 10 standardized essential benefits.
Depending on the state, additional benefits may also be required. The 10 ACA standardized essential benefits are as follows:
- Ambulatory patient services (medical care that is offered without being admitted to a hospital)
- Emergency services
- Hospitalizations, such as overnight stays and surgical procedures
- Lab services
- Mental health and substance abuse disorder services, including behavioral health treatments, such as psychotherapy and counseling
- Pediatric health care services, including vision and oral care; however, adult vision and dental coverage aren't essential health benefits under ACA
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care, including before and after birth
- Prescription pharmaceuticals
- Preventative and wellness services, as well as management for chronic diseases
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, including services and devices for injuries, disabilities, and chronic health conditions
Additional Health Benefits Mandated In Maine
On top of the 10 essential health services that are mandated by the ACA, health insurance policies in Maine must include additional health benefits that have been mandated by the State of Maine. These additional benefits include the following:
- Access to all clinical trials
- Breast cancer treatment specialty drugs
- Chiropractic care
- Diabetes care management for diabetes supplies
- Durable medical equipment, including prosthetic devices
- Hearing aids
- Home health care services
- Hospice services
- Off-label prescription drugs for cancer, HIV, and AIDS
- Outpatient rehabilitation services for cardiac rehabilitation
- Outpatient surgery and surgical services for breast reductions and symptomatic varicose vein surgery
- Prescription pharmaceutical drugs for AIDS treatment
- Reconstructive surgery for breast cancer treatment
- Routine dental services for adults for services that are offered by independent-practice dental hygienists
Standardized Maine Small Business Health Insurance Plans
In order to make it easier to compare costs and benefits, the Affordable Care Act has designated all qualifying Maine small business health insurance plans to be one of four metal colors, including Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
Each of these designations is based on the average amount of health care costs that the plan will cover, which is illustrates at percentages of how much the insurance company will cover for health care, as well as the amount the insured will have to pay out-of-pocket.
All insurance companies that are participating in the federal or state health care exchange program must offer at least the Silver and Gold Maine small business health insurance plans.
All four of the metal plans have a shared maximum out-of-pocked amount that the insured can be charged during any calendar year. The following table illustrates this information:
|Metal Plan||Insurer Pays / Insured Pays|
|Bronze||60% / 40%|
|Silver||70% / 30%|
|Gold||80% / 20%|
|Platinum||90% / 10%|
As per the ACA, individuals cannot be denied coverage or charged higher premiums because of their past health history, or their gender.
Additionally, look-back and waiting periods cannot be imposed. Additionally, policies are effective when they are issued and all coverage is renewable if the individual chooses to renew the policy.
However, plans can be canceled if the individual fails to pay their premiums or commits fraud.
How Are ME Health Insurance Premiums Determined?
A premium is the amount the insured must pay out-of-pocket in order to maintain their health insurance policy. The premiums that are charged for any of the qualifying metal plans can be based on the following:
- Age of the individual
- Whether or not the individual uses tobacco
- Where the individual lives, based on a rating area
- The number of family members who will be enrolling
What Types Of Health Insurance Plans Are Available For Maine Small Businesses?
While there are several types of health insurance plans to choose from, the following plans are the most popular among ME small business owners:
Health Maintenance Organization - Simply known as an "HMO", this type of plan offers a variety of health-related services via a network of health care providers and hospitals that exclusively contract with the HMO, or who agree to offer their services to members of the HMO. Employees who participate in this type of plan usually have to choose a primary care physician (PCP), and receive most of their care from this physician. If a specialist is needed, the PCP will recommend one that is affiliated with the HMO.
Preferred Provider Organization - More commonly referred to simply as "PPO", this type of health insurance plan is the most common among Maine small business owners. The insurance company provides a preferred list of health care providers, and employees must receive their medical care from the doctors and hospitals on that list for their claims to be paid at the highest level possible - but they also have the flexibility to see any other provider anywhere in or out of state.
Point-of-Service Plan - Known as a (POS), this type of health insurance plan provides access to health care services at a lower overall cost, but with fewer choices. Members can access care from in-network or out-of-network providers and facilities, but coverage is better when you stay in-network. POS plans may vary, but generally, plans are considered a blend of HMO and PPO plans - offering more flexibility than HMOs, but less than PPOs.
Health Savings Account - A health savings account (HSA) is a special type of bank account that allows participants in the insurance plan to save money that can be used specifically for the medical care they require in the future. HSA-qualified health insurance plans are usually PPO plans that are specifically designed to be used with an HSA.
Indemnity Health Insurance - This type of health insurance plan allows members to control their own health care and to visit any doctor or hospital they choose. The insurance company would then pay a pre-determined percentage of the total charges for the services that were rendered. Employees may have to pay for some types of services up-front and then they can submit a request for reimbursement with the insurance company.
Maine Small Business Health Insurance Plans - The Bottom Line
We strongly advise business owners to speak with a CPA and a ME health insurance broker before jumping in and getting any type of the Maine small business health insurance plans available.
Make sure that you know exactly what each option can do for your company and the potential drawbacks associated with it.
Maine Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
You have a great idea for a business and you have developed excellent products and services that you are certain people will benefit from. You've also developed a viable business plan. Now you need to choose a place to start your company.
In order for your company to be as successful as possible, you need to choose a location that offers a favorable market for your specific business. After all, if the area doesn't offer a job force to support your operation or a target market that will purchase your products and services, you likely aren't going to succeed.
With that said, if you are thinking about starting a business in Maine, having an understanding of the state's economic trends is essential. It's also important to know what type of commercial insurance you'll need to carry. Below, we offer an overview of this information so that you can determine if ME is right for your business.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Maine
Unemployment rate is a good indicator of a state's economic climate. The lower the rate, the more opportunities exist for business owners, as it suggests that there are ample job opportunities, and the more job opportunities, the more successful businesses there are in the region.
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the state of Maine was 2.9% in December, 2019; that's 0.6% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% at the same time.
Additionally, according to economists, more employment opportunities are expected in the coming years, which will further reduce the unemployment rate.
While locations throughout the state offer opportunities for business owners, there are certain locations that are ideal for entrepreneurs. These locations include:
- Bar Harbor
These cities are the largest in the Pine Tree State, so it's understandable why they offer the best opportunities for businesses. While Maine is home to multiple industries, there are specific sectors that do particularly well here, including:
- Finance and insurance
- Hospitality and tourism
- Information technology
- Professional services
- Real estate
Therefore, if you are considering launching a business in any of these industries, Maine is likely a good location for your company.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Maine
The Maine Bureau of Insurance regulates insurance in ME. Maine mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Maine requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. Independent contractors do not count as employees, but if those contractors employ subcontractors, the subcontractors must be covered by a workers compensation policy.
Maine also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Request a free Maine small business health insurance plans quote in these other ME cities: Arundel, Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bar Harbor, Bath, Belfast, Berwick, Biddeford, Brewer, Bridgton, Brunswick, Bucksport, Buxton, Camden, Cape Elizabeth, Caribou, Casco, China, Cumberland, Dexter, Dover-Foxcroft, Durham, Eliot, Ellsworth, Fairfield, Falmouth, Fort Kent, Freeport, Fryeburg, Gardiner, Glenburn, Gorham, Gray, Greene, Hampden, Harpswell, Hermon, Hollis, Houlton, Jay, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lebanon, Lewiston, Limington, Lincoln town, Lisbon, Litchfield, Lyman, Madawaska and Wiscasset, Madison, Millinocket, Monmouth, Naples, New Gloucester, North Berwick, North Yarmouth, Norway, Oakland, Old Orchard Beach, Old Town, Orono, Orrington, Oxford, Paris, Pittsfield, Poland, Portland, Presque Isle, Raymond, Richmond, Rockland, Rumford, Sabattus, Saco, Sanford, Scarborough, Sidney, Skowhegan, South Berwick, South Portland, Standish, Topsham, Turner, Vassalboro, Waldoboro, Warren, Waterboro, Waterville, Wells, Westbrook, Wilton, Windham, Winslow and Farmington, Winterport, Winthrop, Yarmouth, York and all other ME cities & Maine counties near me in The Pine Tree State.
Also find ME local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Maine small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including ME business insurance costs. Call us (207) 401-4779.
Small Business Health Insurance Plans By State
You can find more state specific small business health insurance information including requirments and coverage by clicking on the state below:
- North Carolina
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia