Want to Increase Employee Retention? Provide More Health Policy Options

Written by: PeopleKeep Team
Originally published on April 18, 2017. Last updated July 21, 2023.

Research consistently shows that health benefits top the list of benefits employees value most. However, today’s workers are looking for more than just a health plan—they want more choices and greater flexibility. Unfortunately, traditional group health insurance generally doesn’t offer much by way of freedom of choice.

The good news is that businesses can contribute to their employees’ health insurance costs without a costly and unwieldy group health policy. Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) like the qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA), or Small Business HRA, allow employers to manage their health costs while giving employees the flexible health benefits they value—a combination that’s great for businesses’ budgets and employee retention efforts.

Employees Want More Choices

Studies show that today’s workers want health benefits that are both flexible and customizable—and they look to their employers to deliver.

For example, findings from the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2015 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey reveal that roughly 40 percent of employees prefer to choose their own health insurance policy, and 80 percent say that having a say in choosing their own health benefits is either “extremely important” or “very important.”

Furthermore, stats from MetLife’s 15th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study show that nearly 74 percent of employees say the ability to customize benefits is an important factor when they’re considering a new job.

Where Group Health Insurance Falls Short

Although group health insurance is currently the most popular way businesses offer health benefits, it fails to deliver when it comes to giving employees freedom of choice. According to the Zenefits Small Business Benchmark Report, small business owners offer just two policy options through group health insurance on average. 

By contrast, the Small Business HRA allows employees to select a health insurance policy from the individual market that fits their needs — giving them a much greater number of options depending on where they live.


Studies show that having choices when it comes to health insurance is a boon for businesses and employees alike. Employees get the personalized benefits they want, and businesses enjoy the higher employee retention rates that come with having satisfied workers.

Download our employee retention eBook to learn how to keep your most valued employees without breaking your budget.

Originally published on April 18, 2017. Last updated July 21, 2023.


Additional Resources

View All Resources