HEALTH BENEFITS AND SMALL BUSINESS

© Minerva Studio Health insurance document

Health benefits vanish at small businesses

Only half of America’s smallest businesses now offer health coverage to their workers because many say steady cost hikes have made it too expensive to afford a benefit that nearly all large employers still provide.

The Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday only 50 percent of companies with three to 49 employees offered coverage this year. That’s down from 59 percent in 2012 and 66 percent more than a decade ago.

“There’s just not as much money around for compensation, including benefits,” said Gary Claxton, a Kaiser vice president and lead author of the nonprofit health policy organization’s annual health benefits study.

Employer-sponsored coverage is the most common form of health insurance in the U.S., covering an estimated 151 million people under age 65, according to Kaiser. The federal Affordable Care Act requires all companies with 50 or more full-time employees to offer it.

Cost was the main reason cited by 44 percent of those small businesses that don’t offer benefits, Kaiser’s study found. Seventeen percent said they were too small to offer coverage. Other employers said they didn’t offer the benefit mainly because their workers were covered under another plan like a spouse’s or because most employees were part-time or temporary. Companies get a tax break for providing these benefits, and many employers also see them as a critical tool for attracting and keeping workers, even if they aren’t required to because they are small or rely on part-time workers. Kaiser found that 96 percent of businesses with 100 or more workers provided health benefits, or nearly twice the percentage of the smallest companies.

Ten percent said their workers weren’t interested in the benefit.

Some opted to give their employees more money to buy coverage on the individual market, which includes the Affordable Care Act’s public marketplaces. But Kaiser found that only 2 percent of the small businesses that don’t offer coverage made that decision because their employees can get something better on the ACA marketplaces.

The cost of coverage, known as the premium, for an employer-sponsored family plan climbed 3 percent this year to $18,764 on average, according to the survey of more than 2,000 businesses Kaiser conducted with the Health Research & Educational Trust. Companies pay just under 70 percent of that, on average, and workers pay the rest.

Cost increases have been more modest in recent years and much smaller than the double-digit percentage hikes seen on the ACA marketplaces. Even so, years of smaller increases add up, and insurance costs routinely climb faster than inflation.

That means the health insurance costs that employers face have climbed faster than what they can charge for products and services, and that has pushed the benefit out of reach for many business owners.

Scot Johnson stopped offering health insurance this year to his two full-time employees at Milestone Tile & Remodeling in Franklin, Wisconsin, this year when faced with a potential 50 percent price hike. He said he’s been in business since 2001 and had always offered coverage.

“I just can’t afford it anymore,” he said. “I gave the employees raises to what I was paying for premiums last year and told them they’re own their own to find insurance now.”

The ACA prompted Bob Borenstein to stop offering insurance to employees of his Philadelphia child care services business, Appletree Developmental Center. He said many of his staff of 32 employees are under age 26, so they can still get coverage through a parent’s health insurance. The public insurance exchanges established by the law offered cheaper options for those who still needed insurance¹.

He has since shifted funds he would have spent on benefits into higher salaries and classroom improvements.

“It was a better use of our money,” he said.

Kaiser released its survey Tuesday while companies are preparing to tell their employees about coverage options for next year. The annual period when employees can enroll in their company’s insurance for 2018 or make changes to their coverage begins in November for many companies.

The benefits consultant Mercer predicts that employer health insurance costs will rise 4.3 percent next year. That’s after employers make adjustments like raising deductibles or shopping for a new insurer in hopes of finding better prices.

Article source: CBS News

THE SPOTLIGHT:

There’s no denying that health care cost is increasing, and it’s putting a damper in almost everyone’s pocket ranging from your simple family surviving paycheck to paycheck to small to medium sized businesses. And it’s causing stress among almost everyone in the U.S. on top of a deep concern for their financial health.

However, it’s important to evaluate what you are getting from these products in the first place. Health insurance basically insure you in the moment of health related care and God forbid, a health crisis. But we’re going to be honest and say that this industry by itself is one of the most flawed industries especially in the U.S. It’s not healthcare anymore, for if it was, they’d go bankrupt.

Why? Because health has become a vague topic, and the U.S. in general is one of the most sickest, and most naïve, population among the industrial first world nations. And because of the complexity of healthcare, you’re paying for the interpretation of it, not a service that will cover your health.

Think about it; life insurance pays out benefits to your beneficiaries after you pass.  Nothing complicated right? You die, your heirs get the money. I call it a legal contract on your head with certain conditions — yeah it sounds mafia-like but who knows, the industry might’ve been created or inspired BY the mob the whole time, but it’s the only product where if you don’t pay they don’t bring Louie “the lip” and his wise guys over to pay a visit and cause an “accident”. And who says that’s not what the government and some of these corporations do.

Anyway, that itself is a guaranteed fate; we will all kick the bucket in some point. Health on the other hand differs based on the lifestyle and diet of the individual. So in hindsight, you’re paying for a paranoid “what if”. You don’t find yourself saying “what if I live forever and ever into 3022” Do you? Unless you’re on this. But you’ve been convinced that it’s eminent that you’re going to be sick, so you should get healthcare.

To top it off, they allegedly force you to buy it under the disguise of the law. Many people will strongly defend and justify this “law”. Unfortunately, these same people haven’t studied their Constitution. So, they’re willing to pay for a product they most likely don’t want to pay, no wonder they’re always angry. Well LEGALLY, when you’re willing to pay for fuel for your vehicle, you’re voluntarily paying the federal fuel tax upon purchase, the federal alcohol tax when you get your swerve on every weekend and holiday, and the tariff and import tax when you buy a product manufactured in another country — again voluntarily. But then again, they do want to pay because based on fear of being sick, or penalized by their government, they will pay.

On top of that, this isn’t a “law”, this is what they call a POLICY that is asking for compliance. The law however is enforced and don’t need your compliance or permission because it’s a law that can’t be challenged in court like protection of life, your liberty and the pursuit to be what you desire to be without government interference. If someone steal your property from you, this isn’t a compliance, that’s illegal and they can be arrested for theft. You don’t negotiate, or allow anyone steal your property even if they asked for it, yet take it without your consent and permission, therefore you have LEGAL protection under the LAW to receive justice if it’s stolen. In the contrast, you don’t have a POLICe asking you to stop at a stop sign or red light do you? No, but they NEED YOUR CONSENT for you to ADMIT you ran the light or stop sign because it’s a POLICY that the POLICe is hired to generate revenue from, and will give you a ticket (tax) because you “voluntarily” ran the damn thing.

That’s the difference.

How? Policy ask and requires your consent (compliance, permission). The law demands your cooperation (protection of rights).

In other words, it’s back to interpretation. If I suggest you do something, you can either take it as I’m just giving you options with YOUR CHOICE to take the suggestion, or you take it as a demand. This depends on diverse personalities as well. However the government profitably assumed the latter.

Going back to policy, the article just said that larger companies don’t have to worry about this policy. Same goes for certain regulations and taxes. Why? Because the founders and those who run these corporations KNOWS that it’s a policy that can be opted out just like any other policies that the average person BELIEVE is a law. I think the reason most people feel like corporations get away with not paying certain taxes, or complying with certain “laws” isn’t because these larger companies are breaking any laws, but they study, investigate, question, and overstand the language of American POLICY which is done under willful compliance, YET KNOWS it’s not a law. The rest of the people are just upset that these companies do what the people fail to do – think.

But there is hope. We found a way where you can opt out and possibly save tons of money on the REAL health insurance. As a matter of fact, we can even help YOU create your own PROFITABLE health insurance plan without spending an extra dime unless desired. And the best part, this health insurance plan covers so many health related doctor and E.R. visits without restrictions, regulations, or pre-determined whatever they call it.

In order to see if you qualify, we ask you if you do the following; eat.

If you eat, then you’re automatically approved for our state-of-the-art health insurance plan that’s twice as better than the one your politician has and trying to sell you. We call it the Rolls Royce Plan.

Now that you’re approved because you eat, we must qualify you for our packages. If you spend more than $200 a month on groceries, then you may qualify for our RRP. You will be asked to evaluate what you buy every month at the grocery store, and we will assist you in finding the perfect plan that can replace the toxic meals that could affect your wallet in paying for this health insurance that’s not legal but simply a policy.

Within a month if eligible, you will not only get a huge rebate, but you can also cover everyone you care about in your household, and add some extra dough in your monthly income in the long term.

Sounds good?

Our business is taking “health insurance” to a whole new level. If we are what we eat, then health insurance expenses has a direct correlation with our wallets based on our diet alone.

 

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