Switching Employees to Individual/Marketplace Plans — Is Now the Right Time?

Written by: PeopleKeep Team
Originally published on December 31, 2015. Last updated August 14, 2019.

Anyone who owns or manages a small business has firsthand knowledge of the Switching employees to individual/Marketplace plans - is now the right time?importance of timing. Important changes can’t be made hastily, but you also can’t afford to be paralyzed by indecision. A balance between the two is where small businesses make great strides.

One of the biggest decisions currently facing small businesses is when to switch employees to individual or marketplace plans. Is now the right time?

With small businesses ready to move away from traditional insurance plans and policies, many are finding that the time is now, for various reasons:

Spending too much time dealing with insurance vendors

Administrators and HR specialists find themselves spending huge portions of their time communicating with and learning about health insurance vendors as they strive to provide their employees with excellent benefits and strain to navigate the increasingly complex insurance industry.

By sending employees to the Health Insurance Marketplace, or Exchange, to select right-sized policies, small businesses can remove the middle men and simplify the process — saving time and money.

Rising costs for you and your employees

To benefit both themselves and their employees, small businesses are responding to the rising costs associated with health insurance. Moving to individual plan premium reimbursement — deductible as a business expense — allows you to shift more administrative hours away from insurance-related efforts.

Employees reap the benefits perhaps more than anyone, as individual plans cost up to 50 percent less than group insurance. Premium tax credits further extend the savings for workers who qualify.

Group policies can be cumbersome

Many small business managers grow tired of the hassles that sometimes accompany group health policies. It’s understandable that essential vendor services such as communication and responsive action suffer when small businesses of 15 employees or less are working with huge vendors that have hundreds or thousands of clients.

With defined contribution plans, small businesses have no involvement in selecting employees’ policies, which gives managers time to implement and utilize software and tracking tools that maximize the efficiency of employer-funded premium reimbursements. Real-time analytics make the whole process a lot easier.

Giving modern-day employees what they want

One key aspect of attracting and keeping the best available talent at small businesses is fostering a workplace that mirrors important societal trends. Personalization and flexibility are two things that everyone expects in the year 2016.

Individual insurance plans give employees freedom to piece together a policy with the utmost sensibility within their unique circumstances.

Maximizing stability

The effects of the Affordable Care Act have been exciting, uncertain and everything in between. One positive ramification has been the ability of small businesses to level the playing field with larger companies, who in the past have been much better positioned to provide excellent medical benefits to employees.

By empowering individuals to choose their health insurance coverage and offering consistent, easy-to-understand reimbursements, small businesses are able to offer their employees more benefits stability than ever before.


With the promise of less time dealing with vendors, less expensive health insurance, easy-to-manage plans, and customized insurance — now may be the best time for your small business to switch to individual health insurance plans.

How might your business benefit from health insurance plans? Tell us in a comment below.

The Comprehensive Guide to the Small Business HRA

Originally published on December 31, 2015. Last updated August 14, 2019.


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