More than half (55%) of small businesses say providing health insurance to employees is the biggest challenge they face.
Providing adequate healthcare cover comes ahead of Covid challenges, taxes, and competition from large corporations.
This was the finding of Small Business for America’s Future national survey of small business owners. Small Business of America’s Future is a national coalition of business owners and leaders. The coalition’s aim is to provide small businesses with a voice at each level of government. Its recent national survey asked 827 small business owners their opinions on the cost of health and potential solutions to bring down these costs.
Small Business Struggles Providing Healthcare Coverage
The survey found that small businesses owners overwhelmingly want government action to relieve the burden. With the American Rescue Plan in place, small business owners say it is time lawmakers worked on other pressing issues to help small businesses recover, rebuild and thrive. One of the most urgent issues mapped out by small business owners is healthcare.
Urgent Need for Reform
The survey showed that small businesses believe there is an urgent need to reform. 92% of the 827 small business owners surveyed say it is important that the government take action to reduce healthcare costs.
87% support capping out of pocket patient expenses. 86% support hospitals and doctors publicly disclosing negotiated payment rates. A similar number of small business owners are in support of adopting policies that eliminate anti-competitive behaviors that extend drug monopolies. 69% of the small business owners support being given the option to purchase a government-sponsored healthcare plan like Medicare.
Small Business for America’s Future’s research is a valuable resource in aiding small business recovery. It helps ensure policymakers prioritize small businesses by advancing an equitable economic framework that caters for the unique needs of small business owners, their employees, and their communities.
Making Healthcare a Leading Recovery Priority
Healthcare costs have long been a challenge for small businesses. The survey’s findings underscore the pervasiveness of healthcare as a prevailing issue for small businesses and appeals for policymakers to make it a leading priority during the Covid recovery process.
As Frank Knapp, Jr. Co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future and President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce commented:
“Healthcare costs have been a problem for small businesses for years but given the strain from the pandemic they’re now at a breaking point when it comes to healthcare.
“The challenges of healthcare costs and the pandemic are likely linked, with Covid shining a light on the flaws in the healthcare system while eating into companies’ revenues and therefore their ability to offer their employees health care insurance.
“They are absolutely desperate for solutions, and in fact, respondents were more concerned that lawmakers wouldn’t go far enough in acting to bring down healthcare costs than those who were concerned they would go too far,” Knapp Jr. added.
An overwhelming 76% of the small business owners interviewed admit to not providing health insurance coverage because the cost of it is too high. More than half (53%) say they have considered dropping providing healthcare insurance because of rising costs.
Who is Responsible for High Healthcare Costs?
Most small business owners who participated in the survey (93%) believe pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the high cost of insurance. A similar number believe health insurance carriers are responsible, and 91% say hospitals top the list of groups responsible for high costs.
The survey provides invaluable insight into small business recovery during these unprecedented times. Healthcare continues to be a primary issue and one that policymakers need to reform to aid recovery and help small businesses, not only survive, but thrive.
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