Amid Slump, More Small Firms Drop Health Care
"Accelerating health-care premiums and sharp revenue shortfalls due to the recession are forcing some small companies to choose between dropping health insurance or laying off workers -- or staying in business at all," The Wall Street Journal reports. One small business owner reports that health insurance payments increased "to more than $800 monthly per employee from about $200 five years ago." With a 10% decline in revenue since December, she stopped proving health care to her employers.
Kaiser Family Foundation data suggest that "Health-insurance premiums for single workers rose 74% for small businesses from 2001 to 2008." A National Small Business Association survey found "38% of small businesses providing health insurance last year compared to 61% in 1993," and another "10% of small businesses are considering eliminating coverage over the next year."
Many of the small business workers losing their insurance are "priced out of private plans," which can "exceed $20,000 a year," and may be forced to skip health care coverage altogether (Mattioli, 5/26).
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