Can I qualify for group health insurance as a small employer?

Yes, any employer with at least two employees can have a group health insurance plan. Minimum requirements, however, vary in the state of New York and New Jersey.

In New York, to qualify for a group plan you generally need the participation of 60% or more of your “net eligible” employees with most health insurance carriers. Workers are considered to be full-time if they work 20 hours or more.

In New Jersey, to qualify for a group plan you require the participation of 75% or more of your “net eligible” employees, which is mandated by the state. Workers are considered to be full-time if they work 30 hours or more.

“Net eligible” employees are only those workers who DO NOT have other insurance coverage (e.g., through a spouse’s job, Medicaid or Medicare). For example, let’s say you have 30 full-time (“total eligible”) employees, and 14 of them already have medical insurance from another source. That means you have 16 “net eligible” employees.