Fraud Blocker

How To Choose & Get Health Insurance For Your Manitoba Small Business

Benefits for your small business
February 7, 2022


Getting health insurance is a great idea for your small Manitoba business! It can make you a more desirable company to work for, attract the high-caliber employees you need, and even improve company morale. Whether your small business has two employees or 1000, this post will help you nail down the group health insurance that’s right for you.

Group Health Insurance: What Is It & How Does It Work?

Whenever an individual applies for insurance coverage, the insurance company that supplies that coverage takes on a certain amount of risk by agreeing to insure them. The basis of a group health insurance plan is that the risk of the insurance plan is spread out across the entire group of employees. This means that greater risks can be taken as a whole (often leading to more or better coverage than an individual would secure alone), and that the premium is offset amongst all employees.

When an employer gets health insurance for their employees, they agree to contribute to the overall cost of the plan’s premium, typically paying 50% of the total cost. The rest of the premium is paid in part by each participating employee.

The Benefits Of Offering Employee Benefits

As an employer, there are so many benefits of offering group health insurance to your small business’ employees. A group health insurance plan can:

  • Help you retain new and key employees
  • Make you a more competitive and attractive employer
  • Increase employee morale
  • Provide an additional way to indirectly compensate your

How Many Employees Do You Need For Group Health Insurance?

It’s possible to get a group health insurance plan with as few as two employees! Although generally, the more people there are in the group, the more benefits are available.

Ready to secure group benefits for your small business?

Types Of Health Insurance Small Businesses Can Offer

There are many different types of group health insurance benefits you can secure for yourself and your employees through your plan, including:

  • Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment Coverage
  • Short- and Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Dental Coverage
  • Vision Coverage
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Health Spending Accounts (Lump-sums your employees can use for any covered benefits as they see fit—or that they can use as a catch-all for benefits that aren’t covered due to deductibles or coinsurance)

The Cost of Group Health Insurance for Small Businesses in MB

The premiums you pay as the employer will depend on several factors, like the size of the group you want to secure benefits for, and the specific benefits you (or they) want included. 

Costs for Employers: Often, the total cost to an employer is about 4% of payroll costs. 

Costs for Employees: Employees could pay anywhere between $600-$4,000 per year in annual premiums. It will all depend on the plan the employer selects!

Health Insurance Options for Manitoba Sole Proprietors & Contractors

If you’re a sole proprietor or a contractor, you won’t have access to a group health plan because your employer is, well, you! So you’ll need to look into other options for health insurance.

The best option for your individual circumstances will depend on your company and the type of plan you want, but in general all of the same benefits and policy options are available to you. It’s just disability insurance that can be harder to attain as a sole proprietor. Typically, a personal health plan coupled with an individual disability plan works best. 

What Should Sole Proprietors & Contractors Look For In A Health Plan?

We recommend that you look into the types of coverage that are available to you under a “grouped” plan versus a personal health plan. Since every situation is so unique, it’s best to speak with an Insurance Advisor who can help you identify the best-fit options for you.

How Much Does Insurance Cost For Sole Proprietors & Contractors?

It’s so tough to say because each person is different. But once we know more about your company and your insurance needs, we can get you a free custom quote.

Insurance for Incorporated Professionals With 1-2 Employees

For incorporated professionals with a business of 1 person or 2 people where the second person is their spouse, typically most options under a regular group plan are available—although the maximums available might be lower than the ones you’d get with a small group. Just know that some insurance companies will not offer disability benefits in this situation.

What Should Incorporated Professionals Look For When Choosing A Plan?

We recommend that you look into the types of coverage that are available to you under a “grouped” plan versus a personal health plan. Since every situation is so unique, it’s best to speak with an Insurance Advisor who can help you identify the best-fit options for you.

How Much Does Insurance Cost For Incorporated Professionals?

Again, this is difficult to estimate because every company is different. We know this is a big range, but you could expect to pay between $80-$300 per month

For a more specific estimate, request a custom quote.

Insurance for Incorporated Professionals With 2+ Employees

The biggest difference here is that as your company grows, you’ll have more insurance options available to choose from. Simply put, the more employees you have, the greater the options become.

What To Look For In A Plan:

  • As an insured professional with two or more employees, you’ll want to look for:
  • A reputable insurance company
  • Plans and policies with lots of benefit options
  • High maximums for benefits like Disability Non-Evidence Maximums

Are Incorporated Businesses Required To Provide Health Insurance?

No, as an incorporated business, even with 2+ employees, you do not have to offer insurance plans to your employees. However, offering them can make you a more attractive and competitive employer, so it’s probably best to have one in place. 

How Much Does Insurance Cost For Incorporated Professionals?

Like with standard group health insurance plans, as an employer to 2+ employees, you can expect to pay about half of the total cost of your plan’s premium—typically 4% of payroll costs. Your employees’ premiums will range from $600 to $1,500 per year, per employee, depending on the plan you choose.

Health Insurance for Small Business: FAQs

Do You Have To Offer Health Insurance To All Employees?

It’s good business to offer the benefits to all employees. It’s possible to offer different benefits to different classes of employee, but generally, each employee within a specific class must be offered access to the same program. 

For example, if “Managers” are a class of employee, then all employees fitting that job title or description would need to be offered the same plan, while “Supervisors” could be offered something different.

Are Part-Time Employees Eligible For Health Insurance?

Sometimes. The definition of “part-time” varies by insurance company, so it  depends on the company you go with. But typically, if an employee works a minimum of 24 hours/week, they’re considered eligible for employee benefits.

How Long Are The Premium Rates Guaranteed?

Group insurance programs renew on an annual basis. Some insurance companies will guarantee rates for up to the first 2 years, but even so, the subsequent renewals will take place annually. 

Factors that impact rate changes are:

  • The composition of your group (demographics)
  • The claims experience of the group
  • The claims experience of similar companies in the same industry
  • Benefits offered

You can manage your premium costs by making certain plan changes when usage gets too high. For example, by choosing to introduce or increase deductibles and coinsurance, or by pulling back on some of the benefits offered.

Get Health Insurance For Your Small Business

As an employer, offering group health insurance is a great idea for your small Manitoba business. If you’re ready to start the process, reach out to us! We’ll get to know your company, learn everything we can about your insurance needs, and get you the custom quote you need!