According to EMPLOYERS’ survey of small business decision makers, about 20 percent are undecided on what type of healthcare benefits will be offered to employees over the next three years. The opinion poll snapshot revealed that:
• 41 percent of small businesses provide insurance for their employees
• 20 percent plan to directly provide insurance to employees within three years
• 20 percent are unsure what to do within the next three years
• 14 percent expect to refer at least some employees to state-based exchanges within the next three years.
“We were pleasantly surprised to see how many businesses that are not mandated to provide health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act still intend to provide this benefit to employees in the next three years,” said Stephen Festa, executive vice president and chief operating officer for EMPLOYERS.
The survey found that 8 percent of small businesses with between one and four employees expect to provide health insurance. This number climbs to 43 percent for small businesses with 20 to 99 employees. For businesses with between 100 and 250 that number rises to 48 percent.
Attitudes towards healthcare as a business priority by small business decision makers included:
• 33 percent see health insurance as a business necessity
• 20 percent think that insurance is a drain on cash flows
• 14 percent don’t really think about it
• 4 percent provide health insurance but whish they didn’t have to
“While many of these signs are encouraging, the bottom line is that a lot of uncertainty about healthcare remains among small businesses,” Festa said.