News Roundup: Week of Sept. 27 – Oct. 3

Businesses feel healthcare pinch; Global warming top issue

Small Business Owners Foresee Mounting Healthcare Costs

healthcaresavingpigSmall business owners are feeling the pinch when it comes to providing employer-based health insurance, according to a recent study by the National Small Business Association (NSBA), released Sept. 28, found that 92% of small businesses are planning for an increase in their premiums in 2010. Although the average expected increase is 13%, one-fifth anticipate premium increases of more than 20% next year.

“Today, despite the very contentious public debate over how to fix the U.S. healthcare system, 62% of small business owners believe passing some kind of healthcare reform in the next year is important,” said Keith Ashmus, NSBA chair and co-founding partner at Frantz Ward L.L.P. “The key is enacting reform that won’t make costs go up.”

According to respondents, aside from small business job creation, offering health insurance to employees has for many years served as a significant competitive disadvantage for small businesses in competing with larger companies. Nearly 80% of small business owners believe offering health insurance provides their company a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining quality employees.

“The cost of health insurance has dire implications on small business job creation,” said Todd McCracken, president and CEO of NSBA. “Premium increases forced 31% of small businesses to hold off on hiring a new employee, and 19% to actually lay-off an employee,” he added.

The NSBA 2009 Small Business Healthcare Reform Survey was conducted electronically from Sept. 21-23 using a sampling of 370 NSBA members.

–Renita Burns

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