Survey Finds Support for Tax Credits Among Small Businesses
More than three-quarters of small businesses said in a recent survey that they favor federal legislation that would provide low-income workers with tax credits to help pay for health insurance premiums. As part of their lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill to pass such a measure, the National Association of Health Underwriters, the Healthcare Leadership Council, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sponsored the survey of 300 owners or benefits managers of businesses with fewer than 50 employees across the nation, some of which offer health insurance and some do not. Here are some of the main findings of the study, which was conducted by WB&A Market Research and has a margin of error of 5.7 percentage points:
- 66% of respondents who do not provide employer-sponsored coverage said that cost was the "main factor."
- 51% of the same subset said that "the reason they don't offer coverage is that their employees cannot afford their share of the premium."
- 76% of all respondents supported a "tax credit that could be applied to purchase employer-sponsored coverage" or an individual policy.
- 71% of employers offering insurance said they would "cooperate in the administration of a program offering tax credits for the purchase of health insurance that could be used in the health plan they sponsor for their employees" (NAHU release, 3/19).
- 71% of all respondents also favored additional federal funding to help adults who don't qualify for Medicaid purchase insurance.
- CongressDaily/A.M. reports that while critics of a tax incentive program have argued that it might give employers an incentive to drop coverage, 79% of employers who currently offer insurance said they "would be unlikely to stop offering health insurance coverage if a subsidy or tax incentive program [was] implemented and about 53% said they would be unlikely to reduce their company's contribution toward an employee's health plan" (Fulton, CongressDaily/A.M., 3/20).
To view the full survey, go to http://www.nahu.org/news/releases/small_business_survey/survey_full_report.pdf. To read a summary of the survey, go to http://www.nahu.org/news/releases/small_business_survey/survey_executive_summary.pdf. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view both documents.
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