Health care and insurance concerns for small businesses Featured

6:26pm EDT January 5, 2012
Health care and insurance concerns for small businesses

The challenges facing small businesses regarding health care is a daunting one. Many are struggling to maintain health coverage for their employees while their bottom line suffers. Still others are unable to find cheap insurance quotes and are forced to reduce coverage or have had to drop health benefits altogether. This crisis has spurred action by the Obama Administration to reform the current health care infrastructure.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) reforms many previous practices of private and public health insurance with the intention of making health care more accessible and affordable. The Act is intended to expand access to health insurance to millions of Americans, increase national spending of health services while lowering Medicare spending and remove many of the current limitations for pre-existing conditions, which otherwise would exclude coverage for many in need of it. It is hoped that the Act will help to answer many of the concerns that small business employers have for their employees and in turn, concerns the employees have for their families.

The legislation is welcome news for many, but there are a number of roadblocks to full realization. For one, complete implementation will be done in stages over several years. Secondly, legislation may be subject to extensive revision or even repeal, due to the many detractors of and federal actions against the Act. In addition, many small businesses are not happy with overall benefit to their own businesses, citing that the Act doesn’t provide enough to benefit their company or that they weren’t eligible. Still others state that they hadn’t heard of the credit at all. As a result, many employers are understandably reluctant to embrace any part of the benefits and search for a cheap insurance quote comparison, to no avail. While these and other issues are under debate, you can still help your employees with their health care and keep your costs in check:

• Gear Up for Compliance

Whether the Act is repealed or goes under significant changes in the future, employers should take steps to comply as much as possible with the PPACA’s current requirements.

• Get On Board

Taking advantage of all of the tax credits available is just plain good business sense. For employers who provide health care coverage, a tax credit of 35 percent bumps up to 50 percent in 2014. This will go a long way to offset insurance costs.

Healthcare Co-Operatives

Co-ops allow for businesses to pool together resources to obtain health insurance, which increases buying power for small businesses while reducing overhead. A number of co-ops exist for employers to get a cheap insurance quote comparison.

• Workplace Wellness Program

Small businesses that begin a wellness program for their employees can take advantage of over $200 million in grants.

Many small companies cannot afford even cheap insurance quotes, so seeking government help where it’s available can do a lot to keep costs down and employees insured.

Olivia Wilkinson is the Senior Consultant for CheapInsurance123.