Running and building a business is a costly endeavor. While some businesses have greater overhead than others, no one gets away without incurring some level of start-up and then ongoing expenses. And, often times, health insurance costs can be a major expense, especially for small businesses.

For example, according to Zippia.com, employers pay 78 percent of single coverage employee health insurance plans and 66 percent of family coverage plans on average. When you consider that the average annual cost for premiums is close to $6,500 for single coverage in California, that’s close to $5,000 per year per employee that an employer is contributing.

And family coverage is significantly higher.

As the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has reported, annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance averaged more than $22,400 in 2022. KFF went on to note that, on average, workers were contributing $6,106 toward the cost of family premium last year, with employers paying the rest.

Some states are far more expensive for businesses, as well. While California, for example, ranks about halfway among all 50 states in terms of how expensive it is to start and run a business, states like Nevada, Colorado, and Arkansas are the least expensive. Others such as Minnesota and New York are the most expensive for business owners.


Some Steps For Lowering Health Insurance Costs a stack of wooden blocks; the top one has a small white plus sign, the next has a little ambulance, the next has a syringe, and the last one has crossed bandages

The United States has the most expensive health care in the world. Experts debate the actual reasons and underlying causes, but it is highly unlikely that there will be any substantial changes in the foreseeable future. 

In the meantime, small businesses must take steps to effectively manage and even lower their own health insurance costs.

Here are some tips from LandrumHR.com for managing small business health insurance costs:

  • Survey potential and current employees to determine what benefits they value most
  • Provide benefit selection education to help employees understand their options
  • Add telehealth alternatives to your plan
  • Offer a variety of plan choices
  • Consider an HSA plan option

Utilizing the expertise and experience of a reputable insurance firm such as J.C. Lewis Insurance Services, for example, is also a great way to effectively manage your health insurance costs.


Five Tactics For Small Business Health Insurance Costs Management

There are several tactics that a small business can implement for effectively managing its costs around health insurance.

Here are five proven and actionable tips for managing your small business health insurance costs:

  • Shop Around for Competitive Rates
    • Obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers to compare prices and coverage options.
    • Consider working with a broker who can help navigate the market and negotiate on your behalf.

A good recommendation is to request quotes from at least three different insurance companies and carefully review the details to find the most cost-effective plan for your small business.

  • Implement Cost-Sharing Strategies

One popular approach is to provide your employees with an HDHP option and contribute to their HSAs to help cover medical expenses. This can result in reduced premiums for both the employer and employees.

  • In addition, encourage employees to take more responsibility for their healthcare expenses, leading to lower overall costs.
  • Embrace Wellness Programs

The goal here is to promote employee wellness initiatives such as preventative care, exercise programs, and healthy lifestyle choices.

  • By lowering health risks and promoting healthy habits, these efforts can lead to reduced healthcare costs over time.


  • Offer discounted gym memberships, organize health challenges, or provide incentives for employees who participate in wellness activities.
  • Evaluate Alternative Insurance Models

For example, consider partnering with other small businesses to form a self-insured group, which will allow you to share the financial risk and potentially access lower-cost healthcare plans.

  • Explore additional insurance models such as joining a captive insurance group.
  • These models may provide more control over healthcare costs and reduce premiums.
  • Educate Employees on Healthcare Benefits

Some good ways to do this are to conduct educational sessions or provide informational resources to ensure employees make informed decisions regarding their healthcare utilization and choose cost-effective options.

  • This will help employees understand their health insurance plans, coverage details, and cost-saving options.
  • It can also encourage them to utilize in-network providers, generic medications, and telemedicine services.

Remember, your business is not like any other and each small business has unique needs. Therefore, it’s essential that you assess your specific situation and consult with insurance professionals to tailor these strategies accordingly.


J.C. Lewis Insurance Services Can Help With Your Health Insurance Costs a stethoscope on a calculator with change in the background; this is used to signify health insurance costs

We have been in the business of offering quality health insurance plans here in Sonoma County since 1979. J.C. Lewis Insurance Services works only with the leading health insurance carriers licensed to do business in the states that we operate in.

As a family-owned and operated health insurance agency for over 40 years, we, too, are a small business. Which means that we understand the particular needs and challenges small business owners face. In addition to being specialists in finding and managing affordable health insurance plans for small businesses, we are also licensed and certified by each insurance carrier we represent.

So, whether you’re considering small group health insurance for you and your employees or you’re simply looking to make changes to your existing plan, we understand that you’ll likely have questions and concerns.

We always welcome your questions about health coverage insurance, and you can be confident that we will help you find the right solution for your needs.

J.C. Lewis would love to be your preferred partner, helping you to make the right decisions for your company’s health coverage needs.