Study: Most Small Firms Don't Offer Health Insurance
Healthcare costs are a perennial burden for small businesses and a new poll released today finds that 77 percent of small business owners do not offer health insurance to their employees.
Discover Business Card's survey also found that 39 percent of small business owners said the cost of health care has a major impact on their ability to grow. More than half of respondents said obtaining affordable health insurance for employees was very difficult.
Survey results also showed that:
*40 percent of employers who offer healthcare coverage have considered discontinuing it because of its high cost;
*34 percent of small business owners said employees go without health insurance;
*25 percent of small business owners said they are uninsured - an increase from 18 percent who said the same last year;
*Among small business owners who have healthcare coverage, 27 percent are insured by another family member's plan, while 35 percent have purchased coverage separately.
"Small business owners have to be flexible and resourceful to find health insurance for themselves and their families," said Sastry Rachakonda, director of Discover's business card. "But for those whose spouses don't have health benefits, or for those who can't afford to purchase a plan, they are simply going without."
Separately, Discover released its monthly "small business watch" survey today and kicked off 2008 with findings that 74 percent of small business owners feel that economic conditions are getting worse. Thirty-five percent of small business executives picked the economy as the most important issue in the presidential campaign, followed by the war in Iraq and then government ethics and corruption.
The Discover Small Business Watch is a monthly index polling small business owners who employ less than five employees and is conducted by Rasmussen Reports.
Small Business Readers: Do the numbers reported in the healthcare poll reflect your experiences in the small business world?
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