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Tailored Insurance Services for Small Businesses

With our personalized approach, we make insurance simple and accessible for small businesses.

Healthcare Insurance for Your Business

Employer sponsored health insurance premiums continue to rise with no end in sight. Essential Benefits can assist you in developing a cost containment strategy that goes far beyond stripping your plan design or raising your deductible. By installing an IRS-compliant Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), you can accomplish the following:

  • Achieve budgeted costs for health insurance year over year.

  • Maintain your employees’ benefits while offering them greater flexibility and choice.

  • Provide spouses and children with access to health insurance at a much lower cost than available through a traditional group plan.

Individuals and Employer Sponsored Health Insurance

You can buy individual coverage plans for your employees if you qualify. Whether you get it through the Washington Health plan finder or directly from an insurance company, options are available to you. However, with this option you’ll likely face higher payroll taxes and your employees will have to pay with their post-tax dollars. 

Not only that, but each employee must individually choose and enroll in their own plan, and when the open enrollment period closes on January 31, 2017, they’ll be locked out of buying coverage unless they meet a Qualifying Event.

Washington Health Plan Finder Business

With only one employer sponsored health insurance carrier available statewide, this option doesn’t leave you with any choices in the marketplace. Without having the ability to choose between multiple carriers, there’s not much benefit to using the exchange. However, the only way to take advantage of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit is through the shop exchange. To qualify:

  • The maximum credit is 50% of premiums paid for small business employers.

  • Requires that the employer pay premiums on behalf of the employees enrolled in a qualified health plan through the SHOP marketplace.

  • The employer must cover at least 50% of the cost of employee-only health care coverage for each individual employee. You must also have fewer than 25 full-time employees and you must be paying them an average of $50,000 per year.

Traditional Group Plans

Few employers will actually qualify for the Small Business Tax Credit and the SHOP marketplace is extremely limiting as far as your employer sponsored health insurance options go. Plus, once the enrollment period comes to a close, you won’t be able to offer benefits to new employees unless they meet the requirements for a Qualifying Event.

Some traditional group plans remove these limitations and others offer different options for coverage depending on several factors:

  • A minimum employer contribution of 50% compared to the previous contribution of 75%. That’s deducted pre-tax, which reduces your payroll tax burden.

  • Some plans still allow for “classing out,” but even if you’re not an applicable large employer for this benefit, you may still be able to offer things like a manager-only plan with some limitations attached due to new legislation.

  • Traditional group plans can often be started year-around.

Hear What Our Clients Have to Say

“Great service from a first class, expert health insurance specialist who really knows the small group and individual business.
David F.
Fullerton, CA
“Navigating small business insurance in WA State is difficult. I think finding a fabulous insurance broker is equally as difficult. Gordon came as a referral from a dear friend who has utilized his services for many years. Gordon didn't disappoint. He is knowledgeable, very responsive, and I always felt he had my best interest at heart as we navigated my unique situation. Even if you are in the individual market, he can help you there as well.
Tammy W.
Seattle, WA
“My husband and I have a COBRA plan which is set to expire and no other health insurance benefits through work. Gordon expertly helped us find new health insurance at a lower price starting next year - and walked us through the pros and cons of each plan on the Health Plan Finder. It would have been impossible to navigate this on our own. It is a very scary time to be without health insurance and limited income - and we are deeply grateful for his guidance and expertise as we will now have coverage at a lower premium for 2021. Most importantly some peace of mind. Thank you Gordon.
Margaret K.
Seattle, WA
“Working with Gordon has been an AMAZING experience. He is so knowledgable and easy to work with always looking out for my best interests. Just moving to WA from CA, I was totally lost when it came to finding a good plan and he gave me really great options and advice. He is easy to get ahold of and is always very responsive. I highly recommend him to everyone if you need help finding health insurance!!! I can't say enough good things about him and his business.
Nicolle R.
Seattle, WA
“Just got some incredibly useful health insurance information from Gordon in a quick call that saved me literally hours of time. Will be calling back for a more extended consultation. Thanks, Gordon!
Foodie G.
Seattle, WA
“In the midst of a job transition, I was exploring my health insurance benefits and was referred to Gordon. He immediately helped and gave me sound advice even though it wasn't in his own best financial interest. I appreciate his candor, responsiveness and integrity. I would wholeheartedly recommend him!
Matt S.
Burlingame, CA
“I can't say enough about Gordon. He is professional, knowledgeable and was able to get me a great plan and save me money. He knows so much about all the providers and what he doesn't know he will research quickly. He's reliable, responsible, professional and knows his stuff. I'd be thrilled to recommend him to anyone.
Rebecca Y.
Seattle, WA
“Excellent!!! Great, knowledgeable service, fast & with a friendly 'can-do' demeanor. Invaluable!
Ed B.
South Beach, San Francisco, CA
“Gordon helped our small business through the process of obtaining health insurance for the first time. We couldn't be happier with the service we received. He was incredibly responsive and helped us get the application submitted and approved very quickly. He is a great communicator and goes beyond any similar broker I have worked with in terms of the depth of his explanations and his willingness to be available to our employees for any insurance related questions. We strongly recommend Essential Benefits!!
Elizabeth P.
Seattle, WA
“I started working with Gordon to get personal insurance because my employers insurance wouldn't cover a surgery that I needed. When we hit a road block in the individual market, Gordon offered to consult with my boss and explore other opportunities that were available. It was a win win for everyone I was able to get my surgery covered and my boss was so impressed that he hired Gordon as our new insurance broker! The level of service that Gordon has provided to me and my office has been utterly incredible.
Kristen O.
Seattle, WA
“HIGHLY recommend!! I was completely lost without Gordon and he was able to help me understand my options and held my hand (figuratively) as we signed me up for plans. His responses were always timely, professional, and clear. If you're a small business owner and looking for help with the insurance process, Gordon is the best.
joanna h.
Seattle, WA
“Gordon was a total life saver!! I gave him all the information that he needed(doctors that I wanted to stay with how often I go to the doctor etc.) He research it all and narrowed it down for me and helped me choose the best plan for myself. I can not say enough great things about him. Picking an insurance plan is so stressful but it absolutely does not have to be if you work with Gordon, I promise he will make your life so much easier!
Mallory R.
Seattle, WA

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