5 Health Care Reform FAQs: How Do Multi-State Businesses Get Coverage?

With more companies looking for insurance plans at the Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace, some may have questions specific to their business about coverage. When small businesses seek out insurance for their employees, they may have questions about whether the size of their company impacts their ability to obtain and pay for coverage. Other questions have to do with the steps to get coverage if owners run businesses in several states.

 Here are five frequently asked questions about multi-state small businesses:

1. Am I Restricted to a State Provider Network? 

Owners may believe they are confined to only state providers, but health care reform opens up a variety of choices for coverage. When owners have businesses in two states, they could choose to seek out single health plans in several states or pick a national provider network, according to Healthcare.gov. The White House noted that the insurance exchanges provided would have low-cost options for small-business employees. 

2. Which State Do I Choose for My SHOP Marketplace Account?

When applying for the SHOP Marketplace, operators should choose the business address within the state for which they want coverage. If business owners operate in three states, they could have separate SHOP accounts for each state. After registering, every state will have a list of workers on each employee roster, depending on where they have a primary worksite. After registering for the SHOP Marketplace, owners can then select a plan or multiple plans and pay premiums online. 

Businesses operating in several states can cover their employees through the SHOP Marketplace.

Businesses operating in several states can cover their employees through the SHOP Marketplace.

3. How Do I Calculate Employer Size?

When adding up your minimum participation rate, each employee roster will be counted separately. However, Healthcare.gov noted that the company size listed on SHOP applications should include the total number of employees in all states in which the company operates. 

4. How are Taxes Affected by Operating in Several States?

Starting in 2014, the employer should determine the average premium per employee by checking the area where employees enroll for coverage, according to the IRS. For example, if the employees enroll in Washington, the employer will have to calculate the average premium for that state. For more information on the average premium figures for the Small Employer Health Care Tax Credit, they could visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website

5. What Happens If I Have the Same or Many Employer Identification Numbers?

To sign up for a SHOP Marketplace, employers should have an employer identification number. However, some business owners may have the same EIN for their different businesses or multiple EINs with various companies. In the case of a single EIN, employers can only have one SHOP account per state. On the other hand, if they have several EINs for businesses, they should determine whether they match the criteria for SHOP eligibility before following the steps to make separate SHOP accounts. They will have to manage their individual SHOP plans and the policies they choose can be different for each business as well. 

Businesses in various states should make separate accounts in the insurance marketplace.

Businesses in various states should make separate accounts in the insurance marketplace.