California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Survey: Small Business Owners Worry About Health Care Costs

Many small business owners in California are concerned about rising health care costs, according to a survey from Small Business California, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

The survey results from the San Francisco-based advocacy group are based on responses from more than 1,000 small business owners (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/12).

According to the survey, 83% of small business owners said the availability and rising cost of health care should be a high or top priority for elected officials in the state (Small Business California survey, 3/12).

Most Small Business Owners Unaware of Federal Aid

However, 77% of respondents said they were unaware of a small business tax credit included in the federal health reform law to help them pay for worker health benefits.

Scott Hauge, president and co-founder of Small Business California, said he wonders if business owners' accountants were aware of available federal aid for offering employee health benefits.

According to the Business Journal, the filing deadline for business owners seeking to qualify for the small business tax credit is this Thursday 

In addition, 75% of respondents said they were unaware that the reform law will allow them to select and purchase health plans through a state health insurance exchange beginning in 2014.

Other Findings

The survey also found that:

  • 44% of small business owners provide health benefits to workers, a slight increase from 43% last year; and
  • Many small businesses have increased employee deductibles, copayments and contributions to deal with rising health insurance costs (Sacramento Business Journal, 3/12).
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