Many Small Businesses Do Not Offer Health Insurance To Employees Because Of Cost Issues, Survey Finds

by Lesley Politi on October 24, 2008

Many Small Businesses Do Not Offer Health Insurance To Employees Because Of Cost Issues, Survey Finds

23 Oct 2008  

Fifty-nine percent of employers that do not offer health insurance to employees would not pay more than $50 monthly per worker for coverage, and only 10% would pay at least $200 monthly, according to a survey released recently by benefits consulting firm Mercer, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The survey included responses from more than 3,400 employers, 545 of which did not offer health insurance to employees.

According to the survey, 43% of employers that did not offer health insurance to employees cited cost issues. Other employers that did not offer health insurance to employees cited turnover among workers and the belief employees would prefer higher wages to coverage, the survey found (Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/21). The survey found that about half of employers disagree with “pay or play” requirements, under which employers must offer health insurance to employees or pay into a public fund to provide coverage (Fuhrmans, “Health Blog,” Wall Street Journal, 10/21). Thirty-one percent of employers support such requirements, and 19% have no opinion, according to the survey.

About 29% of employers support single-payer health insurance, and 31% support proposals to replace an income tax break for employees who receive health insurance from employers with a tax credit to purchase coverage, the survey found. In addition, about 46% of employers support federal reimbursement of employer health insurance costs that exceed a certain level, according to the survey (Spors, “Independent Street,” Wall Street Journal, 10/21).

Linda Havlin, a partner at Mercer, said, “The facts speak for themselves here — not only are they not providing coverage but they are more likely to drop coverage” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/21).

Reprinted with kind permission from http://www.kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/healthpolicy. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com

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