Salem, Massachusetts (PRESS RELEASE – March 24, 2010) — The Enterprise Center at Salem State College has launched the Commonwealth Business Health Blog for small businesses to share their experiences and views on the impact of double digit health insurance premium increases on Massachusetts’ small businesses.
“In response to this crisis Governor Patrick called for a halt to premium increases for small businesses. In addition, the Enterprise Center has called on the Massachusetts legislature to rescind a 1996 law that prohibits small businesses from becoming a group to negotiate lower insurance premium rates. There are health insurance problems that can be solved,” said Christine Sullivan, Executive Director of the Enterprise Center.
As one small business owner, Joseph T. Kowalik, President & CEO, Graphx Inc, stated, “This is much more than a political issue. This is a life and death issue for small businesses.”
Up until this point, small businesses have had little influence on health insurance policy and typically face anywhere from an 18-50% increase in insurance rates. This is much higher than larger companies.
Small businesses are defined as those companies who have 10 or fewer employees. Nationally they constitute 70% of all jobs and include 23,000,000 businesses. “Small business health insurance premiums can cost upward of $2200 per month per employee for family coverage, and this makes hiring new employees and maintaining current employee levels nearly impossible for these small businesses,” said Christine Sullivan, Executive Director of the Enterprise Center.
“It isn’t fair that, as small business owners, we have to pay so much more for health insurance for our employees and for our own families, than larger companies. If the government wants to grow employment, this problem needs to be addressed. Don’t forget that many of today’s small businesses are tomorrow’s large businesses.”-Karen Barth, Founder and CEO, Flavrz Drink Mix
The Commonwealth Business Health Blog is intended to be the voice for small businesses on this critical health insurance issue so that public officials and policy makers will see firsthand what small businesses are facing. For more information go to www.commonwealthbusinesshealth.com.