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What Group Health Benefits Must an Employer Provide?

By August 14, 2023February 6th, 2024Employee Benefits

As an employer in the United States, providing group benefits to your employees is not only essential for attracting and retaining top talent, but certain types of insurance may even be mandatory. One of the most significant aspects of group benefits is group health insurance, which can play a pivotal role in the overall well-being of your employees. 

Below, we discuss the group benefits required by law and how an experienced insurance agent can assist in crafting a benefits plan that suits your team’s needs.

Health Insurance is A Vital Component

Offering a comprehensive health insurance plan to your workforce is not only a legal requirement in certain cases but also a crucial factor in promoting a healthy and productive workforce. Group health insurance typically covers medical expenses, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and preventive care services.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer affordable health insurance coverage that meets certain minimum standards. Failing to comply with the ACA requirements can result in penalties for employers.

Mandatory Group Benefits in Maryland

In Maryland, the laws regarding group health plans mandate employers to provide certain essential benefits to their eligible employees. While specific requirements may vary based on factors such as the company’s size and industry, the following are some common group benefits that employers in Maryland health plans are required to offer:

  • Health Insurance Coverage (For Large Employers): If your business falls under the provisions of the ACA (50 or more employees), you must provide group coverage to employees. In Maryland, this includes treatment for mental illnesses, prescription medications, in vitro fertilization procedures, disabilities caused by pregnancy or childbirth, breast cancer screenings, hospice care, and even COVID-19 tests. 
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Employers in Maryland are legally obligated to provide workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in the event of work-related injuries or illnesses. This insurance provides medical benefits and wage replacement to injured employees and safeguards employers from potential lawsuits.
  • Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment insurance provides temporary financial assistance to eligible workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. As an employer, contributing to the state’s unemployment insurance fund is obligatory to support your employees during periods of unemployment.

While not required, there are a number of other products and services you can offer employees to keep them satisfied in their roles. Consider dental, vision, or life insurance, which can often be added to plans at a nominal increase.

What Should I Do If I Have Fewer than 50 Employees?

While not legally required, employers with fewer than 50 employees may still want to consider expanding (or starting) their benefits plan. Not only do some employees, especially full-time employees, expect to be provided with certain benefits but they may even turn down a job offer if they feel your benefits package is insufficient. For this reason, it’s important to put together a comprehensive package no matter the size of your business. At Unity Insurance, we can put together a customized package that offers a blend of employer-sponsored and voluntary benefits, allowing you to meet the needs of your employees while still being cost conscious.

How an Experienced Insurance Agent Can Help

Navigating the complexities of group health benefits can be challenging. This is where an experienced insurance agent specializing in Maryland group insurance can be an invaluable asset. At Unity, we work as partners with your business, helping you put together a tailored benefits plan that maximizes coverage while ensuring your business remains compliant with all state and federal healthcare laws.

With access to a wide range of insurance carriers, we can also help you compare options and recommend the most suitable group health insurance plans that align with your employees’ needs.

Providing group benefits, especially group health insurance, is not only a legal requirement for employers with 50 or more employees but also a strategic move for all-size employer groups to nurture a happy and healthy workforce. Our experienced insurance agents specializing in Maryland group benefits coverage can help you create a benefits package that fosters employee satisfaction, loyalty, and overall well-being, ultimately offering the biggest benefit to your employees!

Speak With An Agent At Unity Insurance About Your Group Benefits Needs Today

Unity’s insurance professionals serve as your advocate from the very beginning. From selecting coverage to filing a claim, we are by your side every step of the way. At Unity Insurance, we know insurance plays a vital role in every stage of your life and business. Our professionals provide guidance and support to ensure you make the right decisions regarding your insurance options. We work with our clients to provide the best plan for individual needs. Call 410-539-6642 to learn how the experienced insurance agents at Unity Insurance can assist you.