Many Small Businesses Are Still Undecided about Health Benefits

One in five small businesses is undecided about what healthcare benefits to offer in the next three years, according to a study by EMPLOYERS. “We were pleasantly surprised to see how many businesses that are not mandated to provide health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act still intend to provide this benefit to employees in the next three years,” said Stephen Festa, chief operating officer for EMPLOYERS. The study also reveals the following:

• 41% of small businesses provide health insurance for their employees.
• 20% plan to provide health insurance directly to employees within the next three years.
• 20% are not sure what they intend to do within the next three years.
• 14% expect to refer all or some employees to state-based health benefit exchanges within the next three years.
• 8% of small businesses with one to four employees expect to provide health insurance directly to their employees. That climbs to 43% for small businesses with 20 to 99 employees and 48% for businesses with 100 to 250 employees.

These intentions reflect small business decision-makers’ attitudes toward health care as a business priority.
• 33% of small businesses see health insurance as a strategic business necessity.
• 20% of small businesses believe health care insurance is a drain on cash flows.
• 14% of small businesses don’t think much about it.
• 4% say they provide health insurance but wish they didn’t have to

“While many of these signs are encouraging, the bottom line is that a lot of uncertainty about healthcare remains among small businesses,” Festa said. For more information, visit

Last Updated 01/11/2022

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