It’s hard to believe that we’re already three months in to 2017. It seems like just yesterday we were popping champagne and ringing in the New Year, but the absence of snow and buds on the trees in Minnesota prove otherwise. 2016 was a whirlwind, and we wanted to reflect on some of the milestones from the year and set the stage for what’s to come in 2017. Since Gravie was founded over three years ago, we’ve been continuously adding products to our benefits marketplace in response to customer feedback, regulatory changes and fluctuating costs in the health insurance market. Prior to 2016, our offerings included individual health insurance plans, dental insurance and supplemental medical insurance. In September 2016, we partnered with Securian Financial Group to add life insurance to the mix (read the press release here). In 2016, we also added small group health insurance plans to our marketplace to help members in some areas of the country cope with price changes in the individual market. Not only did this solution provide a more affordable option for employers, it also offered their employees a lot more choice when it came to their benefits (check out the blog post here).
One of the most exciting things to happen in employee benefits in 2016 was the passing of the 21st Century Cures Act (read the press release here). This Act includes an important provision that allows employers to give money to their employees on a tax-free basis to purchase individual health insurance. This is exciting for several reasons. First, it means that Gravie now offers Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (SEHRA), which allow employers and their employees to take advantage of purchasing individual health insurance plans tax-free. But secondly, it means that politicians and other public officials are recognizing the challenges that many small to medium size employers face when trying to provide affordable, quality employee benefits. The passing of the 21st Century Cures Act is a step in the right direction towards a new, promising era for employee benefits, which is right in line with our goal at Gravie – to make benefits easier and more affordable for employers and employees.
Part of making benefits easier is making them accessible to everyone. Based on feedback from employers, employees and individuals alike, we recognized that there was a gap in our offerings. We were only able to serve employees up to the age of 64. This needed to change. On February 2, 2017, we announced that we had acquired one of the largest Medicare brokerages in Minnesota and would be adding Medicare products to our marketplace (read the press release here). “People over the age of 65 comprise the fastest growing segment of the population and the labor market," said Abir Sen, Gravie CEO and co-founder. “With this acquisition Gravie now has the capability to serve all individuals regardless of age, and also provide solutions to employers looking for affordable ways to provide coverage to their retirees and pre-retirees.” We’re excited about the opportunity to serve employees and individuals of all ages in 2017.
We're proud of the changes we've made this year to continue to provide "better benefits for all" and we know that more change is to come. We recognize that the possibility of the ACA being repealed, revised and/or replaced brings uncertainty to many. While we don’t know exactly what's in store this year from a legislation perspective, we can promise that we will remain a constant partner in providing "better benefits for all" and we will continue to adapt and grow to meet our customers' needs (read more about this here). We’re looking forward to continuing to serve employers and employees across the country in 2017 and beyond.
If you’re an employer interested in getting started with Gravie, contact us today.