Small Businesses Consider Dropping Health Benefits
Among small businesses in the U.S., 58% currently offer some type of health insurance to their employees, but 11% are considering dropping the plans in 2007 because of cost, according to a survey by Chicago-based SurePayroll, an online pay service provider for small firms, the Wall Street Journal reports. Of the small companies that offer health insurance, 56% cover at least 80% of the overall cost of their employees' health care.
According to the poll, 62% of firms with benefits offer PPOs. HMOs are provided by 18% of firms that offer benefits, while a combination of PPOs and HMOs are provided by 20%.
Among small firms that do not offer benefits, 44% surveyed said they have no plans to offer them in the future, while 46% indicated some interest in providing them depending on cost.
SurePayroll President Michael Alter said, "If you think that we've got health insurance issues now, imagine if 350,000 small businesses stopped offering health insurance in 2007." Alter added, "The alarm of small business health care has been sounding for quite a while. We cannot continue to ignore this problem" (Breeden, Wall Street Journal, 8/15).