Exploring Employer Health Insurance Options and Challenges

The insurance market is filled with options, so how do employers choose the right path?

- By Malibu Kothari

Everyone is likely to agree that employers in the United States are faced with a much more complex health insurance market now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been implemented. Before the ACA, employers could self-insure, buy insurance through a health insurance company, or develop a combined program to manage costs for employee and retiree groups. After the ACA, new options and challenges were added, including government-run private health care exchanges where individuals can purchase insurance; the SHOP Marketplace offering small businesses affordable employee coverage; and the employer mandate requiring large employers to offer health insurance or pay a fine. Health insurance has become a balancing act as employers try to design the right plan to maximize value of the benefits plan, contain insurance costs, avoid government pe...

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