Majority of small business owners worried about cost of health coverage for workers

Nearly 80 percent of small business owners are worried about the cost of health insurance coverage, and 62 percent said that a 15 percent increase in premiums would make their current group health insurance coverage unaffordable, according to recent research from eHealth. However, the study, Small Business Health Insurance: Costs, Trends, and Insights 2017, found that most small businesses are committed to continuing to offer coverage. Sixty-four percent of survey respondents said that they offered small business coverage because it helps them hire and retain the best workers. And nearly half (47 percent) show this commitment by covering 75 percent or more of employee health insurance premiums.

The survey also found the following:

  • Considered on a per-person basis, the cost of small business coverage increased by 8 percent between 2016 and 2017.
  • Thirty percent said they have delayed hiring new employees in the past due to the cost of providing employer-sponsored health insurance.
  • Sixty-one percent said the cost of providing health insurance affects their ability to offer raises and bonuses to workers.
  • Small employers (76 percent) are somewhat or very concerned about their employees’ ability to pay premiums, deductibles, and copayments.

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