Sometimes candidates ask us if we can negotiate a different insurance package for them when they are reviewing a job offer. Often candidates may walk away from a very generous health care package and accept lower coverage by a new employer which means a higher employee contribution.

Most employers only have one plan to offer all of their staff due to the buying power of group health insurance. There are special challenges to companies which employ a staff of less than 50 people. After all, the insurance companies can write more policies for larger companies, which is why they tend to get better costs.

In 2014, The Affordable Care Act mandated that businesses which employ the equivalent of 50 or more full-time workers will be required to provide health insurance to all of their employees. Companies which employ less than 50 people are not effected by this mandate which means that they do not have to offer insurance to their employees.

Additionally, 401k matching, accrued vacation time and other benefits cannot always be matched because companies cannot change group policies for one person. Even being at the SVP level or higher won’t change this.

We advise candidates to share everything with us about their entire benefit package up front so that we can proactively prepare the employer to create an offer to make up for any potential losses in benefits. We don’t want to encounter any surprises or disappointments after a long interview process.

We encourage candidates to look at the big picture when assessing an offer. While there might be a step back in certain areas, there are usually big leaps forward in other areas. Think about where the position will take you in the next five years.