Health Care Challenges for Small and Micro Businesses

The most important immediate consideration in any discussion of health care benefits and small businesses is cost. The bottom-line finding in any study or survey is that small businesses are increasingly being priced out of the health care benefits game.

Health insurance premiums have risen by 73 percent in the past five years. According to the Kaiser report, the average annual premium for family health insurance coverage ($10,880) is now higher than the salary paid a full-time minimum wage worker.

With increasing costs of this magnitude, a choice will be forced upon small businesses: in a choice between wages and benefits, small businesses will make a selection that places more of the cost of health care benefits on either the employees or on society through government-provided health care or uninsured cost shifting.