For Immediate Release:
Contact: Kelly Broadway, 202-808-8853
Small Business Supports More Options for Offering Health Insurance
Workers Deserve Better than ACA and Medicaid Safety Net Programs
Washington, D.C. – The business community and health care organizations are rallying around several bills before the Committee on Education and the Workforce that improve the ability of small businesses to provide affordable health coverage to their employees.
The Association Health Plans Act (AHPA) (H.R. 2868) and the Self Insurance Protection Act (SIPA) (H.R. 2813), would make it easier for small businesses to offer health care plans, like their large corporate counterparts, giving workers more options for care at lower prices.
Inflationary pressures and regulatory costs continue to threaten small businesses. Price growth has been eating into buying power and driving up costs, and regulations cost small firms $11,700 per year per employee. Many businesses can no longer bear the skyrocketing cost of health coverage, which now totals more than $22,000 per family every year, an increase of 288 percent since 2002. Twenty years ago, almost 50 percent of small firms offered health coverage; today, less than one-third do so, primarily due to cost.
The AHPA helps reduce costs and expand options by empowering employers to band together and use their collective strength to negotiate lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs while offering better coverage for their workers. Supporting SIPA means protecting small employers’ right to self-fund their plans. This will lower health plan costs and encourage businesses to continue to offer coverage.
“Small businesses and their employees are the backbone of our country; without them, our economy would collapse. Skyrocketing health costs and increased government regulations are crushing mom-and-pop firms. Congress is finally stepping up to the plate and advancing legislation to expand choices and lower premiums. Millions will get coverage through Association Health Plans, and premiums will go down by double digits. Even better, out-of-pocket costs for many will go down by thousands of dollars, and access to doctors and drugs will greatly expand,” said Joel White, President of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC). “Expanding Association Health Plans and allowing small businesses to self-fund their plans help small business owners attract and retain much-needed talent by offering high quality, affordable benefits that are better than they receive now.”