When it comes to health care, small-business owners aren’t making any fast moves.
Faced with higher premiums again in the year ahead, many business owners have found themselves in a holding pattern. They’re concerned about the rising costs and the possible impact of health reform, but unsure about making any changes until they have more clarity or options.
Mitch Goldstone, the president and CEO of ScanMyPhotos.com, a photo scanning service in Irvine, Calif., plans to continue paying 100 percent of his 19 employees’ costs for medical, dental and vision coverage, even though premiums are expected to jump 18 percent, or roughly $18,000, in 2012.
While he considered sharing the costs with his employees in 2012, he worried that some people would opt out, putting their own health at risk and raising the per-person cost of the company’s group plan. “I didn’t think that the usurious rates that the health insurance companies are charging should be punishing my employees,” Goldstone says.
Waiting to see
He and many other business owners are waiting to see what impact the Affordable Care Act will have on them. Nineteen percent of small employers say they are either “likely” or “very likely” to terminate plans after state insurance exchanges go online in 2014, according to a November survey by Mercer, a benefits consulting firm in New York. The insurance exchanges would offer uninsured consumers a choice of health plans with information about the costs and benefits of each option.