Employee Benefits

Everyone wins when you offer Group Health Benefits


  • Group Insurance Enrollment is available year round 
  • Throughout the DMV Health Insurance Rates are significantly lower in the Group Marketplace than in the Individual Market. 
  • The Group Marketplace offers many more plan options. 
  • Group Benefits increased Workplace Morale 
  • It helps you attract more qualified employees 
  • Increases Employee Retention
  • Offers significant tax benefits
  • May result in a lower cost for the business owner for his or her own benefits

DC &  MD Group Sizes

  • For DC for profit companies must have at least 1 employee who elects coverage in addition to the owner/s, i.e., a mom & pop business who has no other employees would not be eligible but if they have an employee that elects coverage, they are then eligible.  Employers can elect group coverage for nannies.  Non-profits such as Churches, Assoc. can elect group coverage with 1 employee.
  • For MD we can write group only if there are at least two W-2 employees that elect coverage in addition to the owner.  Note the owner can waive coverage.  Group must still meet minimum participation.

VA Group Sizes

  • In Virginia we can write Sole Proprietors, LLC or Corporations even if they do not have employees if they have a business license & file a Schedule C or K-1
  • For example, we can write any 1-person group with all of our carriers.  Many real estate agents have their coverage through the Individual market in Virginia and rarely qualify for subsidies due to their income, yet we can place them in the Group Market usually with a better plan & a savings of 20 to as high as 40% on the monthly premium. 

Current Small Group Requirements

For the District of Columbia, Maryland & Virginia

Minimum Participation Rules

Most Insurance Companies Require a Minimum Participation of 60 - 70% of Eligible Full Time Employees to be enrolled 

  • Full Time Employees are defined as W-2 Employees who work at least 30 hours per week.
  • Employees who Waive coverage because they are covered by Medicaid, Tri-Care, Medicare, or other Group Coverage do not count towards this calculation. 

Minimum Employer Contribution Requirements

In DC & VA, Employers are required to contribute a minimum of 50% of the employee’s premium cost.  In MD Employers are not required to contribute towards the cost of the employee’s premium.

  • Employers do not have to contribute towards the cost of dependents or family coverage. 
  • Employer’s can elect to include Part-Time employees working 17.5 + hours, but do not have to contribute towards the cost of their coverage. 
  • For the entire DMV there is 1 period per year where neither minimum contribution nor minimum participation rules apply including for the renewals.

Cafeteria or Section 125 Premium Only Plans

A Significant Savings Tool for Small to Midsize Businesses

Savings for the Business

  • Setting Up a Cafeteria or Section 125 Plan is easy & cost effective.. With a Cafeteria Plan your employees’ share of the premium can be deducted from their gross wages resulting in lower payroll taxes (reduces the Employer’s portion of Social Security, Medicare, Federal & State Unemployment taxes) & will even reduce the business’s Workers Compensation Premium. The average savings on payroll taxes is about 10 to 12% & the savings on Workers Compensation depends on your current rate.
  • The Employer can also choose to add Ancillary Benefits on a Voluntary or Employer-sponsored basis – Group Life, Disability, Accident Policies.

Savings for Your Employees

  • By setting up the Cafeteria Plan your employees will also save on their Social Security, Medicare, State & Federal Income Taxes.
  • The savings to your employees can be as low as 10% to as high as 35% depending on their tax bracket.

    Offering your employees Ancillary Benefits on either a Voluntary or Employer-sponsored basis will allow you to provide robust Benefits that will rival that offered by larger companies & allow your business to attract & retain employees for a competitive edge.

Working with Crystal Insurance Group

  • DC Health Link offers over 150 Group Health Plans to Small Businesses -- as Authorized Brokers with DCHL we can assist
  • Both Maryland & Virginia offer over 100 different Plans to Small Businesses depending on your County
  • Virginia offers Group Rates for 1 person operations, i.e., if you are self employed
  • DC Health Link requires that you have at least one FT employee
  • There is no cost to work with us.
  • We can help you design and implement Employee Benefits that are cost effective and will serve to attract & retain employees.

We Offer

  • We will provide you with a full proposal showing you the top choices for your type of business
  • We will help you choose your Reference Plan
  • We will explain the plans, options and cost to each employee and assist them in enrolling or waiving coverage in English or Spanish
  • We will assist your new hires with enrollment
  • We will provide you information for Mini-Cobra for terminated employees

Other services

  • We can offer other Voluntary Group Benefits such as Short- &
  • Long-Term Disability, Group Life, etc.
  • We can offer you a 125 Cafeteria Plan which can save you significant payroll tax dollars 
  • We assist with Claims Management
  • We assist with Billing
  • We advocate for You
  • We Answer Your Questions