Small Businesses Work To Address Health Care Costs
USA Today on Wednesday examined how small businesses are "driven crazy by soaring employee health costs, an expense that surveys show has become the biggest headache and obstacle to growth," and how "a growing army of consultants and benefits experts are promoting new health plans and services aimed at owners desperate to rein in costs."
For example, some health insurers have begun to reduce premium rates for small businesses that offer wellness programs to employees.
In addition, many small businesses have begun to contract with professional employer organizations, which charge an annual fee to manage employee health benefits and other personnel issues. PEOs combine employee groups into larger pools to reduce health care costs for small businesses. Some small businesses also have begun to offer high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts or health reimbursement arrangements to reduce health care costs.
Ivy Silver, founder of Commonwealth Consulting Group, added that small businesses "have to use some of the same techniques large employers are using" to reduce health care costs (Hopkins, USA Today, 4/19).