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Small business owners worried about rising health insurance costs

Health Care and Health Insurance
by Dave Palmer
Small business owners worried about rising health insurance costs
Small business owners worried about rising health insurance costs

In the last few years, there has certainly been more of a focus on the rising cost of health insurance and what people can do to keep their expenditures on this kind of coverage down. However, one group that may be particularly impacted by these types of concerns are small business owners, because they're buying coverage not only for themselves, but for other people as well.

This issue has grown to be so much of a concern for entrepreneurs that 2 in 3 now say that if they could change one thing about the kind of coverage they offer to their employees, they would make their monthly premiums lower, according to a new survey from the National Association for the Self-Employed. Another issue that emerges from that concern is the fact that more than half of those polled also rated their confidence in being able to find health insurance options that would be both relatively inexpensive and comprehensive enough to meet their employees' needs as being low to very low. 

Katie Vlietstra, vice president for government relations and public affairs for NASE, also noted that nearly 1 in 4 such companies have figured out that they'll have to spend more than $10,000 on health insurance costs alone this year, and that this issue could create major problems for small businesses around the country, the report said. And it could be more problematic for the 56 percent who say that they're also going to try to change some aspect of their health insurance this year.

Self-employed people also finding it difficult
Meanwhile, people who are actually just working on their own, and have few or no employees for their companies besides themselves, have also found significant difficulty with the health insurance exchange, the report said. That's because 80 percent of those polled for this survey said that they were not able to qualify for the subsidies that are designed to make buying plans through the Healthcare.gov exchanges more affordable.

For these reasons, health insurers may want to focus a little more on what they can do to help small businesses meet their coverage goals going forward. This may be vital for both sides, because in an increasingly competitive market for high-quality workers, the ability of a smaller company to provide top-notch benefits will go a long way toward both keeping that type of candidate and attracting new ones.



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