Special enrollment period for small businesses underway

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

By KeenanDirect


What is the Small Business Special Enrollment Period?

Employers can enroll in Small Group plans at any time of the year as long as at least 70% of full-time employees enroll in a health plan, and the employer contributes at least 50% of the cost towards employees’ premiums. But what should employers do if they do not meet those criteria?

During a limited time each year, from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows employers that do not meet its minimum participation standard or premium contribution requirements to enroll in a Group Health Plan with coverage starting on Jan. 1.


Employers using the Annual Special Enrollment Period (SEP) are not required to pay any percentage of an employee’s premium, and similarly, there are no employee participation percentage requirements.

To qualify for the SEP, at least one employee who is not the owner or spouse of an owner must be on the small group plan. Ultimately, there is a variety of ways small business health insurance can help both you and your employees. Group health coverage may also contribute to other advantages as well, such as helping workers feel valued and vital, keeping employees happier with their compensation, reducing sick days, and protecting employers and employees from high medical bills in the case of a severe injury or illness.

While small businesses may worry about insurance costs, the SEP mitigates that concern by allowing enrollment without any employer contribution. Ultimately the employee gets the advantage of enrolling in a small group insurance plan, regardless of whether or not that employer can pay for a required portion of the premium.

Adding value for your employees

Offering employee benefits is an essential factor in the recruitment and retention of any workforce. But just offering any employee benefit does not always add an advantage. That’s where a business needs a benefits consultant to help guide you and ultimately save you money and time. KeenanDirect has a relationship with the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau to provide qualifying businesses with no-cost proposals for your benefits needs.

If you are an employer with 1 to 100 employees, you can leverage the KeenanDirect relationship with the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau for access to all major health plans in the San Joaquin County.

KeenanDirect can access the Small Business Special Enrollment Period for you and provide many options for your business. If you are a business owner who wants to obtain Group Health Insurance and cannot meet the usual eligibility guidelines, this Special Enrollment is geared for you. KeenanDirect provides small businesses with all of the assistance you and your employees need for the open enrollment process, including:

  • Access to Private Exchanges like California Choice and Covered California Small Business
  • Access leading Carriers and Health Plans (Kaiser, Blue Shield, Anthem, HealthNet, Oscar, CCHP, Aetna, United Healthcare and SHARP Health Plan)
  • HMO and PPO plans available and all Metal Tiers
  • Dental Plans (Delta Dental, Liberty, Dental Health Services, California Dental Network)

For more information on how KeenanDirect can provide you with a no-cost proposal for your benefits needs, please contact Sam Cole, Vice President, KeenanDirect, at 916-859-7160, ext. 4170, or by email at scole1@keenan.com.