January 18, 2011
Cost, Coverage, Economic Impacts, Insurance, Policy Implementation
The ACA has been charged with harming small businesses and inhibiting job growth, but, according to the Small Businesses Majority (SBM) national survey, the opposite could be true. One of the ACA’s goals was to help small businesses pay for health insurance coverage and this is one promise the law seems to be keeping. Despite the economy, significantly more small businesses are offering health insurance to their workers thanks to the tax credits provided in the health care law. In the month after the law was enacted, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City reported a 58 percent increase in the number of small businesses purchasing coverage in their area and 38 percent of those businesses did not offer health insurance prior to the tax credits. The SBM survey reported that 33 percent of employers who don’t offer health insurance said they would be more likely to do so because of the small business tax credits and the new state exchanges. The survey also demonstrated the lack of education surrounding the health law and its important provisions. The majority of respondents were not familiar with the exchanges, online marketplaces for individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance beginning in 2014, or the tax credits of up to 35 percent of their health insurance costs for businesses with fewer than 25 employees with average annual wages below $50,000.