Thursday, February 18, 2010

Small businesses with health care are still covering employees, but there are fewer employees to cover.

A few people have asked me if many small businesses are cancelling coverage of their employees as a way to react to current economic conditions and the continuing inflation in health care costs.

Although it might seem to make sense that a lot of small business would drop coverage, that’s not what’s happening. We haven’t seen many small businesses backing off their commitment to provide health insurance benefits to employees, but a lot of small employment groups UHC covers in Pennsylvania have gotten smaller, with 10-employee companies often shrinking to 6 or 7 since the recession began.

While still committed to health care, small businesses have looked for ways to cut costs to the company and employees. Smaller healthcare networks, closed networks, higher deductible plans tied to innovative health savings accounts—these are just some of the ways that small businesses are trying to cut costs in the current economic environment while still providing health insurance benefits to their employees.

I’m pretty confident that once companies start hiring again, small businesses will continue to explore the innovations in health insurance that have been developed to meet the changing needs of the marketplace.

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