Hybrid group & ICHRA employee benefits packages for an evolving workforce

May 30, 2024

We also offer Gravie ICHRA™, Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs) that enable employers to contribute pre-tax dollars to their employees, who can then use the funds to purchase a health plan of their choice from their state’s individual marketplace.

As one of few benefits providers that offers — and administers — both group plans and ICHRAs, Gravie is uniquely positioned to offer hybrid options that blend both types of solutions for employers looking to support multiple types of employee populations.

The workforce is changing, and employers’ benefits needs are changing along with it. Walk into any office or professional services environment a decade ago, and you’d most likely find a staff of full-time employees who commuted to their company headquarters every day.

Today, especially in the wake of the pandemic, these same workplaces look a lot different —  they’re likely a diverse mix of part-time, temporary, full-time and remote employees. An Upwork study found that the number of fully remote workers has increased from 2.3% pre-COVID-19 to 20% now. Additionally, the number of part-time employees has reached an all-time high of 22 million, according to the latest Department of Labor statistics.

Employers’ benefits programs are also evolving to reflect these differences, all while providing health benefits that achieve their unique goals – often a blend of employee attraction and retention, budget cap and savings, quality and affordable coverage and more. In this current environment, a one-size-fits-all benefits package no longer make sense. Fortunately, employers are finding that by categorizing employees differently, they can maximize their benefits spend by offering tailored solutions for each group. Below is a list of classes that employers can use to divide employees:

  • Full-time employees
  • Part-time employees
  • Seasonal employees
  • Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement
  • Employees who have not satisfied a waiting period for coverage
  • Salaried employees
  • Non-salaried employees
  • Nonresident aliens with no U.S.-based income
  • Employees in the same geographic rating area
  • Any combination of two or more classes

With the option to strategically utilize these categories, employers can designate classes for their workforce and then shape their benefits packages in a way that supports their respective budget and goals. For example, an employer could choose to offer a larger benefit to their full-time employees, and a smaller one to their part-time workforce; this would be reflected in the dollar amount the employer contributes to the group plan offered to both classes.

With new opportunities to group employees, employers need to be strategic in their approach – and Gravie is here to help. Unlike traditional benefits providers that may only engage when enrollment season nears, Gravie takes a thorough, consultative approach. Our model is relationship-based, prioritizing ongoing engagement and personalized support.

So, what does this look like? It might be regular touch-base meetings throughout the year, or a half-day strategy session with a team to discuss employee classifications and the most effective benefits to offer each group. Drawing on our innovative Surgical Underwriting® strategy and robust data analytics, we identify solutions that optimize spend efficiency, geographical suitability and maximum coverage for various company sizes and employee classifications.

As an example, a staffing company might determine that Comfort is a great fit for their salaried management staff. Yet, their hourly W2 workers may have historically high utilization rates, so the company may benefit from offering this group an ICHRA plan, where they receive a lump sum to purchase a plan that best fits their individual needs.

Whether your clients have a diverse employee structure or specific health benefit goals for their employees, Gravie is committed to providing customized advice to maximize their investment in health benefits. Contact us today to learn more.

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