It's widely acknowledged that happier workers generate more profits for their employer, which is why Walmart announced this spring that they would increase their minimum wage across the board.

Human capital is an employer's largest investment. Employers recognize benefits motivate employees. But managing the bottom line can be tricky. So skinny plans have emerged as a way for employers to offer health benefits, and avoid some of the egregious penalties of the PPACA, without giving away the store.

The term "skinny" was coined in 2013 as brokers, carriers, and employers struggled to seek ways to comply with the proposed employer mandate, and avoid massive penalties. But when the average health care cost per employee tops $11,000 per year, many employers face a dilemma. How to offer benefits that avoid huge penalties, without breaking the bank?

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