Small Business Health Benefits

In a 5/26/09 WSJ article, Dana Mattioli reports on how the recession and health care premium increases are affecting small businesses.

What does the future hold? “About 10% of small businesses are considering eliminating coverage over the next year, up from 3% in 2005, according to a recent survey by National Small Business Association.” A survey by another group estimates 19% of small businesses dropping coverage over the next two years.

What are the historical trends? The Small Business Association reports that “just 38% of small businesses [provided] health insurance last year compared to 61% in 1993.”

What is not news to any small business owner is the increase in premiums over the past years. “Health-insurance premiums for single workers rose 74% for small businesses from 2001 to 2008, the latest year data are available, according to nonprofit research group Kaiser Family Foundation.” In that same period, the Consumer Price Index has gone up 22%.

As revenues drop, some business owners have been canceling health insurance in order to keep more employees on the payroll.

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