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Employer Contributions and Cost-Sharing for Medical Premiums

As an HR champion, you're often tasked with balancing company costs while offering attractive, affordable benefits to your employees.

This article will guide you through the fundamentals of premium contributions and employer cost-sharing arrangements.

Employee Premium Contributions

Employee premium contributions are the portion of health insurance costs that employees pay out of their paychecks. The specific amount depends on several factors, including the total cost of the plan, the employer's contribution, and whether the coverage is for the employee only or includes dependents.

Premiums are often deducted from paychecks pre-tax, which provides a tax advantage to employees.

  • ((Total Gross Wages) - (((Benefits)+(Other Deductions)+(Taxes)))) = Net Pay

As an HR professional, it's important to communicate how these deductions will appear and impact employees' paychecks, specifically their net pay!!

Employer Cost-Sharing Arrangements

Employer cost-sharing arrangements are how much of the total health insurance costs the employer will cover. While arrangements can vary greatly from one organization to another, a common approach is for the employer to pay a significant portion of the cost, often between 70-80%, with employees covering the balance.

The specific arrangement will depend on various factors, including the company's financial situation, industry standards, and the importance placed on health benefits as a recruitment and retention tool.

Here are two main types of cost-sharing arrangements:

Defined Contribution

In this model, employers provide a fixed dollar amount towards employee health insurance premiums. Employees are then responsible for paying any premium costs that exceed this amount.

Percentage Contribution

In this approach, employers pay a fixed percentage of the health insurance premiums, and employees pay the remaining percentage.

Balancing Costs and Benefits

Navigating the balance between company costs and the attractiveness of the benefits package can be challenging. Offering generous benefits can attract and retain top talent, but it's also important to consider the company's financial health. It's crucial to regularly review your company's cost-sharing arrangement and compare it to industry norms and employee expectations. Anonymous surveys can be a useful tool to gauge how employees value their health benefits and what changes, if any, they'd like to see.


As an HR hero, you play a critical role in helping your team understand their health benefits and the costs associated with them. By understanding and clearly communicating about premium contributions and employer cost-sharing, you can help your employees make informed decisions about their health coverage.

Keep being the amazing HR professional you are – your work makes a world of difference!

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