Enterprise level employers generally have integrated therequirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act intotheir benefits packages. But small businesses continue tostruggle with providing health insurance for employees in theObamacare era.


A survey of more than 800 small businesses found that fewersmall firms offer health coverage today than was the case a yearago, and costs of coverage are rising, sometimes at alarmingrates.


The survey, released by the National Small Business Association,revealed high degrees of confusion over details of the law amongsmall business owners.


“Unfortunately, the smallest businesses are in worse shape todaythan they were just one year ago,” said NSBA President and CEO ToddMcCracken. “Just 41 percent of firms with five or fewer employeesoffer health benefits, down from 46percent one year ago — less than half that of their counterpartswith 20 or more employees.”


Among survey findings:

  • Overall offer rates among all small firms fell to 65 percentfrom 70 percent in 2014;

  • 90 percent of respondents reported increases in their healthplan premiums;

  • 20 percent said the increase exceeded 20 percent;

  • 9 percent said they plan to purchase health insurance throughthe Small Employer Health Options Program (SHOP exchange) or anindividual exchange, down from 14 percent last year;

  • The average small business owner is now spending as much as 13hours a month to comply with PPACA.

“We need to focus on growing our businesses, but the increasedcosts and compliance burden the ACA puts on us only makes that muchmore difficult,” said NSBA Chair Timothy Reynolds, presidentof Tribute, Inc. in Hudson, Ohio.


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