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Most Americans get health insurance through their jobs or are covered because a family member has insurance at work. This is called group insurance. Group insurance is generally the least expensive kind. In many cases, the employer pays part or all of the cost.

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Not all employers offer health insurance. You might find this to be the case with your job, especially if you work for a small business or work part-time. If your employer does not offer health insurance, you might be able to get group insurance through membership in a labor union, professional association, club, or other organization. Many organizations offer individual health insurance plans to members.
  • An insurer can require a minimum percentage of your eligible employees sign up for coverage
  • There might be minimum contribution or participation requirements
  • Participating employees usually are required to work to least 20 to 30 hours per week
  • There may be a minimum waiting period for new employees
  • There might be an exclusion period for your pre-existing conditions
  • Your group can be charged more based on age, gender, family size, location, and type of the plan
  • You have to administer the plan or hire a third party administrator
  • There may not be a limit to premium variation or increases
  • Premiums also can vary based on average age, gender, geography, occupation, and smoking status

An insurance carrier can refuse to renew your coverage for:

  • Nonpayment of premiums
  • If the employer commits fraud
  • If they are discontinuing that insurance product (They might have to allow your company a chance to buy other plans they sell to groups of simi liar size).
  • Your insurance cannot be canceled because someone in your group becomes sick (guaranteed renewability)


  • Consider both HMO and PPO group plans
  • Trade associations and local Chambers of Commerce will often have collective-bargaining entities for health insurance
  • Talk with similar-sized businesses about their plans
  • Find out what percentage of business a agent places with each carrier
  • Find out how many plans the agent represents
  • Check your local department of insurance for health plan shopper's guides and company and agent complaints

Disadvantages Group Health Insurance:

  • Higher premiums to the employer
  • Non portable when you leave
  • Carriers can cancel your group coverage

Advantages of Group Health Insurance:

  • Everyone usually qualifies
  • Shorter underwriting
  • Can continue under COBRA for 18 months after termination
  • Higher premiums usually offset by employer contribution
  • Increased premiums spread out over larger number of people
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