Growth Strategies

How Do I Buy Benefits for Just One Employee?

min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Different states may have different options, but major carriers usually won't write a policy for an enterprise with fewer than five full-time, eligible employees. Here are two alternatives to consider.



1. Hire a benefits insurance broker, who can look for non-major carriers that might write this insurance for you, such as a local HMO, for example. To find a broker, ask other business owners who they use or request a recommendation from the local chamber of commerce.  



2. Simply provide your employee with a set amount per month with his or her paycheck for the express purpose of purchasing his or her own health insurance. If you go this route, it's a good idea to require proof of insurance from the employee. For example, within 30 days of his or her date of hire, require proof of the amount paid for the insurance coverage. The amount you pay monthly is intended as an offset of some of the insurance cost. It need not cover a specific percentage of what the employee pays. It is like a gift that you are giving, similar to paid time off work for vacation and holidays. Establish an amount and stick with it for everyone you hire.

You might also identify a broker to help the employee with purchasing individual coverage. But this is a nice but not necessary.


If you choose this option, when your company grows to five full-time employees, then you may decide to revisit offering coverage through a broker/major carrier. 

Be aware, however, that typically employers can't please everyone with whatever they offer, no matter how hard they try. 

Offering health coverage is extremely expensive to employers, and it was becoming out of reach for many smaller companies well before the recent federal health-care law was passed. Letting people find and select the coverage that they want or need may be the best decision. There are high-deductible plan types with Health Savings Accounts that might be perfect for some people, while others will want coverage that includes lower deductibles and co-pays.

More from Entrepreneur

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.