A top financial hurdle for many small business owners is (surprise!) health care.
And the most common way to deal is to not deal.
Small business owners are increasingly putting the financial burden of health care onto their workers. About 85% of small business owners polled in a new survey by the Discover Small Business Watch actually say they don’t offer any health benefits to their workers. That’s up sharply from 77% in 2008 and 74% in 2007. And even of those who do offer benefits, more than a third say they’re considering ending coverage because it’s too darn expensive. According to the America’s Health Insurance Plans or AHIP, businesses with 26-50 employees had an average monthly premium of $311. Those with less than 10 employees paid an average $378 per month.
“It’s rough and it’s wrong,” says Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media. “It’s fundamentally wrong that we take this whole group of small business owners the so-called 'heart of the economy' and we don’t give them the provisions to provide healthcare to their families and themselves.”If you’re struggling with how to afford a plan for your staff, consider these cost-saving tips.
1. Offer a high deductible plan and a health savings account (HSA). More small businesses are offering high deductible plans as a way to stem overall medical costs. A high-deductible plan requires your workers to payer a higher deductible in exchange for lower monthly premiums. With a high-deductible plan, employees can also participate in a Health Savings Account, or HSA, which lets workers spend pre-tax dollars on uncovered medical expenses, like cough syrup, band-aids, crutches, eyeglasses, etc. An HSA is a self-administered account, too, which is good news for small business owners since it means the administrative costs will be low. Check out the Small Business Administration’s web site for more information on HSAs. You can also check out HSAFinder and HSAInsider.