Health Care Reform and Small Business - Myths and Realities

Unfortunately, rural small businesses find it increasingly difficult to provide their employees health insurance. Entrepreneurs' hesitancy to leave employment with insurance for their business start-up creates a barrier for rural America's most effective development tool.
Small business has been used as a foil for opponents of health care reform. Considering the impact of reform and of skyrocketing health insurance costs on small business should be an important consideration in this debate. It's crucial, however, that those who reference small business get the facts straight.

A new Center for Rural Affairs report - Health Care Reform: What's in It for Small Business? - challenges four major myths about the impact of health care reform on small business. The health care reform law will not force small business to provide health insurance for their employees because most small businesses (50 or fewer employees) are exempt from the mandate and freed from any penalties related to the mandate. Moreover, the law establishes a Small Business Tax Credit for providing health insurance for employees. The tax credits, available in tax years 2010 through 2013, provide some immediate relief in making health care more affordable and offer an incentive for small businesses to provide insurance.

As the features of health care reform are implemented, small, rural businesses will reap the benefit of larger group coverage providing comprehensive, affordable and continuous health care coverage for their business and their employees. In the meantime, find out more about health care reform and small business at (