You Can Afford to Help Employees With Health Insurance. Here’s How.


Many business owners—particularly those running small businesses – recognize the importance of offering health benefits to attract and retain good employees but think they can’t afford it. With continuously rising rates and new rules, traditional group insurance is becoming too much for these employers to sustain. Many are dropping their plans or are convinced that it just isn’t possible for them to offer health insurance.

What most don’t realize is that an expensive group plan is not the only option out there. If you’re an employer who has dismissed the idea of offering health insurance because of the perceived cost, you need to know that there’s a simple, affordable option: the individual health insurance market and giving employees additional compensation to help cover their coverage.

Sending employees to the individual market for health insurance is an approach that makes health insurance feasible for employers who think it’s not. How? Because:

  1. There are no contribution requirements and minimums like there are with group plans. When you use the individual market for employee health insurance, you’re essentially giving additional compensation to employees to help cover their cost. This means it’s entirely up to the employer to choose the amount to be made available to each employee.
  2. Individual health insurance is typically less expensive than comparable group plans. With lower monthly premiums, the amount you give your employees goes further and covers more in the individual market. One reason for why individual is less expensive is that the participant pool in the individual market (everyone who has an individual plan) is much larger than any one company’s group plan. When one person gets sick on a group plan, there are fewer people to “pay” for that sick person, so the rates need to be higher. In the individual market, there are significantly more healthy people to help pay for the sick people.
  3. There are resources, like Gravie, that rid employers of the burden that accompanies administering group health insurance and helps employees find the best plan for them. All the time and resources you thought were required to offer health insurance are now non-issues.

How do I send employees to the individual market?

You could simply drop your group plan and suggest that employees find coverage in the individual market. Or you could provide a little more financial and emotional support. Gravie is one way that you can give employees this support.

With Gravie, employers give additional compensation to their employees that can be used to purchase health insurance in the individual market. Gravie facilitates the transfer of this money from employer to employee so that the money is available to be applied directly to the cost of the employee’s plan. The amount you give employees can be an “across the board” amount or one determined by factors like an employee’s job function or seniority within the company. This money is treated as additional post-tax compensation that can be, but is not required to be, used to purchase insurance.

My employees have never shopped for coverage on their own; who will help them?

If you send your employees to the individual market on their own, they probably won’t get much support to help them find the right coverage. But don’t let this stop you. There are now companies like Gravie that provide unbiased shopping assistance to employees looking for a plan. This means Gravie advisors can help employees sort through all their options, find a plan that covers all of their doctors and meets their budget, and explain all the confusing terminology associated with health insurance. Gravie advisors will also help employees determine if they qualify for government tax credits (and help them apply if they are).

In addition to shopping help, Gravie also provides year-round support. Our team of advisors is always available to answer any health insurance-related questions employees have and can help with things like finding a doctor, determining why a claim was denied, pinpointing the cost of a procedure…just about anything.

If you’re a business owner who assumes that because traditional group heath insurance is too expensive that you’re out of luck, it’s time to think about other options, including Gravie. Call us at 844.540.8701, fill out our employer form, or email us at