Group health insurance is employer-sponsored health coverage for business owners, employees and often for dependents. A majority of Americans have group health coverage through their own or a family member’s employer-sponsored group plan. Employers and employees can share costs and there are special tax incentives available to businesses that provide group health insurance. An employer selects a group health insurance plan and then invites its employees to enroll.
Typically, employers cover a portion of each employee’s monthly premium, and can also contribute to dependent premiums. The remainder is paid for by the employee. This is a perceived benefit and has, in the U.S. created an attraction to obtain and keep employees. It is unknown whether the Affordable Care Act will incentivize small businesses to continue their present group plans, or pay a penalty and send employees to health care exchanges where they may purchase coverage individually. Most believe that traditional group health insurance will remain or perhaps expand with the increased number of participants that at one time opted out of group coverage but will suffer a tax if not purchasing insurance by 2014.