HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a new report, "Lower Premiums, Stronger Businesses: How Health Insurance Reform Will Bring Down Costs for Small Businesses." The report outlines the many ways health insurance reform will lower health care costs for small
businesses and is available now at www.HealthReform.gov.
"Small businesses drive our economy and create jobs, but they are struggling as health care costs continue to rise," Secretary Sebelius said. "The high cost of care is making it difficult or impossible for these businesses to offer care or grow their business. Health insurance reform will bring costs down and give small businesses the relief they need."
The report notes:
* Small businesses, the backbone of job creation in our economy,
are disproportionately burdened by the financial strains caused by
rising health care costs. On average, small businesses pay up to 18
percent more than large firms for the same health insurance policy. This
difference is due in part to high broker fees (which can be up to 10
percent of premiums), and health plan administrative costs that are
three times those in the large group market.
* In a recent national survey, nearly three-quarters of small
businesses that did not offer benefits cited high premiums as the
* Nearly half of workers covered by a small business employer have
insurance that limits the total amount the plan will pay for medical
care and nearly one in ten small business workers have a health plan
that does not offer prescription drug coverage.
* Workers in small firms are more likely to shoulder burdensome
out-of-pocket health care costs. Thirty-six percent spent more than 10
percent of their household income on out-of-pocket medical expenses in
2007, compared with 27 percent of workers in larger firms.
Health insurance reform will bring down costs for small businesses by creating a health insurance exchange, providing a small business tax credit, ending the "hidden tax" on small businesses that provide health insurance and preventing arbitrary premium hikes. Reform will also ensure Americans have stable, secure insurance coverage, limit out-of-pocket spending and eliminate caps on benefits.
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