If you think you could get anything close to the quality of healthcare your employer is getting you on $13K a year then you have not looked at the indivedual market at all (normal, most people don't). Even mid-sized employers (your level) get substantial discounts (20% range) for bringing a number of people together (pooling the risk).
One of the big components of the Affordable Care Act is to force the insurance markets to treat the individual market more like a large pooled group, and thus reduce costs significantly. Still not nearly to the level that large corporations have, but significanly better than now. But the very provisisions that make that happen (elimination of pre-exisint conditions asa criteria, forbidding differnt permiums for men vs. women, etc) also create the necessity of putting in the requirement that eveyone have insurance, since otherwise they would be stuck with only those with massive costs without the low-cost people to even out the pool.
The ironic thing is that Mitt Romney actually did speak about a real solution for a couple of speaches, before the backlash from other Republicans killed off that idea, and it was his infamous "I like to fire people" speach. His wording was unfortunate giving his history with Bane Capital (and the many layoffs that company was responsibel for), but his meaning was much like what you are arguing.
But the reason for the total silencing of this idea was that in order to make it workable you have to take the Afordable Care Act as a starting point and keep going: you have to have the individual mandate to even out the risk pool (so healthy people paying for sick people), the elimination of pre-existing condition limitations, most or all of the variable pricing depending on health, and then eliminate all employer involvement in health insurance.
The difficulty is once you are there, then you are there, then it becomes obvious that market forces do not do any good in the healthcare industry (at least not on the health insurance side), and a "single payer" health system suddenly becomes the best option. And that is not a though that most Republicans are comfortable with.