Despite some survey reports to the contrary, not all small firms are getting rid of coverage. Some are trying creative ways to hang on according to Information Strategies, Inc.
The parent of this newsletter reports that some firms are asking their employees to take on more of the burden of the premium.
And they're cutting back on coverage and increasing deductibles.
Of the 1,024 employers that responded to a recent Small Business Digest survey, 55 percent said they had increased the deductible, while 34 percent said they had made family coverage more expensive.
Experts offer some words of advice to entrepreneurs who are struggling to keep up with insurance premium payments:
- Look at health savings accounts, or HSAs, as a way to reduce costs. In many states the overall costs to employers and employees are greatly reduced, and employees can use the funds for retirement. (This could be useful because many companies are cutting back on their 401(k) contributions.)
- Some smaller employers are providing stipends to employees to purchase their own insurance. (One caveat is that some employees may not qualify for individual plans.)
- Shop around diligently and look at alternative offerings as some less well-known insurers -- some are offering bargains.
- Consider adding a wellness program to improve staff well being and eventually pull down healthcare insurance costs.