Why Small Firms Can Be Allergic to Health Insurance takes

While Americans enjoy bad-mouthing big business, they take a sentimental view of small companies. Here’s one reason why that’s odd: Big corporations routinely offer their workers health benefits, but it’s hit and miss among small outfits. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 44 percent of companies with three to nine employees don’t offer health insurance. Among companies with 10 to 24 workers, 28 percent don’t offer it. Money is the chief factor, naturally: 72 percent of company owners who don’t offer health benefits said the premiums are too high. Among all the owners surveyed (including those who do offer benefits), 43 percent said they’re “very dissatisfied” with the cost of insurance, and 23 percent are “somewhat dissatisfied.” As you can see from the chart, a significant number of owners are also unenthusiastic about the quality of healthcare available to their companies, though a majority are satisfied with it. At companies that offer health coverage, 71 percent don’t give a choice of plans. Here again, costs are the main reason: 63 percent of owners who offer benefits said they get a better deal if all employees are in the same plan. Anyhow, if workers don’t like their current health plan, it may be gone soon enough: 28 percent of owners who offer coverage said they’ve switched plans during the past two years.