Insurance and Uninsured
When provided the opportunity to purchase health insurance at 50% of the full premium, fewer than 20% of small-business employers in San Diego chose to offer the coverage, according to a study in Medical Care Research and Review.
Researchers offered San Diego business owners the chance to purchase employee-only policies at prices ranging from $20 to $100 monthly. They found that 40% of eligible businesses purchased coverage for $20 per month and that 13% purchased it for $100 per month. Small-business owners who were themselves uninsured were about 35% more likely to purchase coverage than business owners who had insurance; however, only 17% of small-business owners who did not provide coverage were themselves uninsured.
The authors concluded that programs that subsidize health insurance for small businesses are unlikely to have a significant impact on reducing the number of uninsured people (Kronick et al., Medical Care Research and Review, April 2008).