Minnesota Children’s Museum, located in the heart of downtown St. Paul, was an early adopter of Gravie. Like many small to midsize businesses, providing competitive employee benefits at a cost they could afford was challenging.Four years ago, the museum decided to ditch the traditional model opting for something different. Their forward-thinking approach led them to Gravie and they have been partnering with Gravie to provide employee benefits ever since. Here’s their story.
2014 – Time For a Change
Providing competitive, quality employee benefits has always been a top priority for Minnesota Children’s Museum. Great benefits largely influence employee satisfaction and play an integral role in recruiting and retaining top talent. In 2014, when survey results surrounding their employee benefits program came in low, the museum’s human resource and leadership teams dug into why.
They were surprised to learn that when it came to health insurance, employees wanted choice above all else, which their current group plan didn’t offer. They decided to explore other options, including the individual market and other non-traditional approaches.
Allison Gredesky, the museum’s director of talent, had heard good things about the individual market – specifically, that it offered choice and affordability. She got to know the team at Gravie and together they ran the numbers to see what a switch to the individual market would mean for the museum and its employees. After the results came back, it was clear that Gravie was the way to go.
2015 – New Found Choice
In 2015, Minnesota Children’s Museum employees got access to hundreds of health plan options, versus the two their previous group plan offered. Through Gravie's Marketplace for Individuals & Families, 61 employees chose 27 unique plan designs from three different insurance companies. For the first time, each employee was able to choose the benefits that met their budget and coverage needs.
In addition to providing their employees choice in 2015, the museum saved 33% on health benefits. With Gravie’s defined contribution approach, they were able to set a budget and choose exactly how much additional income to provide each employee to purchase benefits. This allowed them to control costs like they had never been able to in the past.
2016 – Adjusting to Rising Plan Rates & Avoiding ACA Penalties
After a successful year partnering with Gravie, individual plan rates began to rise in Minnesota. Due its popularity among their employees, the museum wanted to continue with their individual market offering, but worked with Gravie to adjust their defined contribution strategy to offset the increased plan rates.
In 2016, Gravie identified an additional opportunity to save the museum money. As an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) (meaning more than 50 full-time employees), Minnesota Children’s Museum had been subject to costly Affordable Care Act (ACA) penalties. Gravie added a Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) plan in to their benefits offering making them no longer liable for those fees.
2017 – A New, Tax-Free Option
In 2017, new laws made it possible for employers to offer employees additional income for health benefits on a tax-free basis. In the past, employees had been taxed on income used to purchase health benefits though the individual market. Gravie helped Minnesota Children’s Museum take advantage of this new law by adding a Minimum Value Plan (MVP) and Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to their individual market offering so that more money could be spent on benefits instead of taxes.
2018 – An Unconventional Approach to Group Benefits
As part of their due diligence to ensure they are offering their employees the best of what’s available, every few years, Minnesota Children’s Museum conducts a comprehensive appraisal of their employee benefits program. In preparation for the 2018 benefits year, the museum put out an RFP. Gravie submitted a proposal along with four large traditional brokers.
“After reviewing the options, it was an easy decision to stick with Gravie,” said Allison. “We appreciate their forward thinking and believe their goals as a business are in line with ours.” Allison commented that the museum appreciates Gravie’s efficient, straightforward approach to benefits.
In 2018, per Gravie’s recommendation, they made the switch to Gravie’s Private Marketplace for Group Plans. New this year, Gravie’s Private Marketplace for Group plans was created with small to midsize businesses in mind.
With this new offering, Minnesota Children’s Museum employees were able to choose from eight cost-friendly group plans ranging in coverage levels; all plans providing access to a broad, national network. This new approach provides employees choice, an expanded network, and additional cost savings.
An Adaptive Approach to Employee Benefits
Since making the switch to Gravie in 2014, Minnesota Children’s Museum has been able to provide their employees with a choice of quality benefits that meet their unique budget and coverage needs.
As rates shift, the legislative landscape changes, and as businesses' needs evolve, Gravie will continue to help employers like Minnesota Children’s Museum provide better benefits for all.
To learn more about partnering with Gravie for employee benefits, send us a note or give us a call at 844.540.8701.