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Consumer Guide: Health Insurance for Small Business Owners

A “small business owner” or “small employer” is a person who hires at least two but no more than 50 workers. By law, small employers don’t have to offer health insurance as a benefit to their employees. Many do offer health insurance to help attract and keep good workers.

The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance has a guide with details on the Small Employer Health Insurance Law, terms, and possible costs. It also lists health insurers that offer coverage to small businesses.

View the Guide to Health Insurance for Small Employers and Their Employees (PDF).

Working with an insurance agent

When you’re looking for health insurance, you have the option to work through an insurance agent or to contact the insurance company yourself. Some insurance companies only work through insurance agents or brokers. Some insurance agents only offer insurance from one or two insurance companies. It’s important to think about these limits when making your choice to work with an agent or not.

If you choose to work through an agent, make sure their license is active. Look for them in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ database.

Health spending accounts for small businesses

There are a few types of accounts that employers can offer to their workers. These are called health savings accounts. They help workers pay for health care costs that a plan doesn’t cover. Common types include:

  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
  • Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA).
  • Medical Savings Accounts (MSA).

Small employers should think about which type of account (if any) would best serve their workers. Learn more about health spending accounts.

Related topics

Last revised August 29, 2022