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Health Mark Q. 1993;10(3-4):179-93.

Health care coverage and costs in small business: an exploratory study.

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Lumpkin College of Business, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston 61920.


Health coverage and health care costs continue to frustrate employers, employees, and public policy makers. Controlling escalating health costs, improving coverage for the uninsured, and providing retiree health care are all important to the small employer. This study was undertaken to investigate the availability and extent of health care coverage and to assess the effects of health care costs on small firms. The results revealed that the percentage of small firms offering health benefits totaled 58 percent. The availability of group health insurance increases as firm size increases. Small employers cited insufficient profits, high insurance costs, and unavailable group coverage as the primary reasons for not offering health benefits. The results also indicated that the vast majority of small firms opposed a mandated employer-provided health coverage and suggested that small businesses should pool together to form groups to reduce the cost of health care coverage for small firms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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