For more than 40 years, food manufacturer Mrs. Gerry’s has worked to be an employer of choice to a diverse workforce that spans geography, language and socioeconomics. A desire to give its employees options that better aligned with employees’ individual needs led the 150 employee company more than five years ago to abandon the group health insurance market in favor of individual policies.
But continuously rising costs led the company to reconsider the decision last year and entertain the idea of re-entering the group market. “Our broker literally told us our only option was group insurance,” says retired CEO and part-owner, Alan Oliver. “But then we found Gravie.”
“Our broker literally told us our only option was group insurance—but then we found Gravie.”
It was clear to Oliver and his team from the beginning that the individual market with Gravie was going to be a very different experience than navigating it without. “It was a revelation for us to use Gravie’s services, because it allows our employees to shop with some real assistance, where previously they were on their own.”
In comparing the quotes received from three different insurance companies in the group market, Mrs. Gerry’s estimates that it saved about $250,000 in one year. In fact, the next cheapest group insurance quote was over twice as much.
Even with the potential ACA penalty included in their 2015 financial analysis, their expenses with Gravie would be a fraction of what group insurance would cost them, for similar or better coverage. Interestingly, the estimated penalty for this company is roughly equivalent to the projected tax credits their lower-wage employees are expected to get, demonstrating that the “penalty” is really a shared cost burden.
Gravie also has helped make Mrs. Gerry’s employees more savvy consumers. According to Oliver, “Once we brought Gravie onboard, employees got more involved in wellness programs when such benefits became more obvious to them.”
Oliver says that its new approach to providing access to health insurance is paving the way even more innovations in employee wellness, such as the addition of an onsite health clinic at Mrs. Gerry’s headquarters.
“The Gravie approach makes a lot of sense for our company,” Oliver says. “We think this is the future of health insurance.”