Take Control of Your Health Insurance Budget During Plan Renewal

Written by: Christina Merhar
Originally published on March 24, 2015. Last updated July 15, 2022.

March 29th celebrates National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. In honor of all small business owners, this article provides an overview of health insurance options to control your health insurance costs at plan renewal time.

Small Business Health Insurance Options During Plan Renewal

It’s plan renewal time and you just found out your small business health insurance premium is increasing 20 percent for the same coverage. Again. Sound familiar? If yes, you’re not alone.

The number one challenge small businesses face in offering health insurance is cost. As such, it’s not uncommon to feel like your health insurance budget is quickly spiraling out of control.

Do you have to accept these blows to your health insurance budget? No. You have options.

What Health Insurance Options Do We Have?

Your health insurance budget does not have to be at the mercy of annual renewal increases.

Take control by exploring these small business health insurance options:

  • Shop around for more affordable plans,

  • Work with your broker to negotiate your premium rate, or

  • Change employees to individual health insurance and set up a premium reimbursement plan to contribute. This is the most effective and permanent fix, because you’ll never be surprised with an annual increase again.

But, Isn’t Group Health Insurance the Only Way to Offer Health Benefits?

No. You have options.

Whether you’ve offered health insurance in the past, or want to offer benefits for the first time, you may feel like traditional group health insurance is the only way to offer quality health benefits. However, assuming group health insurance is the only way to offer health benefits is a major budget pitfall.

Why? Group health insurance is expensive.

According to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the cost to cover a single employee has increased 174% since 1999 – up to $6,025/year in 2014. As a result, only 54% of small businesses (with fewer than 200 employees) still offer traditional group health insurance.

Small businesses no longer have to feel trapped by group health insurance. New, more affordable alternatives are rapidly being adopted such as:

  • The SHOP Marketplace and Small Business Healthcare Tax Credits

  • Co-Ops or PEOs

  • Individual Health Insurance (with or without a premium reimbursement contribution)

What’s the most budget friendly option? Individual health insurance with a premium reimbursement contribution.

Why? Because individual health insurance costs 20 to 60 percent less and your business has complete control over cost.


Budgeting for health insurance does not have to be the death of your operating budget.

By adopting individual health insurance and a premium reimbursement plan, small business owners, startups, nonprofits, and mom and pop shops can offer affordable health benefits and take full control of the cost of health insurance.

What small business health insurance challenges are you facing at plan renewal time? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or question below.

Originally published on March 24, 2015. Last updated July 15, 2022.


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