Survey of True "Small Businesses" Explores How
Employers Feel About Health Care Reform, Why They Provide
Coverage, and How Far They're Willing to Go to Save Money
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, Mar 21, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX)
--The majority (85%) of small businesses are not making
changes or long-term plans based on health care reform
legislation, according to a recent survey of small business
owners released today by eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH), the
parent company of eHealthInsurance.
Beginning in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act of 2010 (ACA) requires businesses with the
equivalent of fifty or more full-time employees to provide
health insurance coverage for their workers. However,
businesses with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from
this requirement, although employees may be required to
purchase their own coverage.
eHealth's Small Employer Health Insurance Survey
focuses on these small businesses, many of them family-run.
Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) of the small businesses responding
to the survey had ten employees or fewer. The survey was
conducted anonymously online between February 10 and March
13, 2012 and gathered responses from a total of 236 small
businesses that had purchased group health insurance
policies through eHealthInsurance.com.
Based on their size (fewer than 50 employees) none of the
businesses surveyed would be required by the ACA to offer
health insurance coverage to employees in 2014. However,
the majority (60%) planned to continue offering coverage
for their employees in 2014. Among those employers who
considered themselves knowledgeable about aspects of the
ACA, a larger majority (69%) said they had no plans to stop
offering coverage to employees. According to the survey,
most employers feel they have a moral obligation to provide
health insurance for employees or feel they need to
continue to do so in order to recruit and retain talented
Small businesses are still sensitive to health care costs,
however, with nearly all respondents (95%) citing
"affordability" as one of the two most important
factors when choosing a plan. Small businesses are also
open to creative solutions to reduce health coverage costs.
Many are willing to drop benefits like dental and vision
(58%) or consider raising deductibles and offering accident
or critical illness coverage (74%) in order to keep costs
lower and continue offering employees health insurance.
eHealth's Small Employer Health Insurance Survey report
can be downloaded in full here or through the eHealth, Inc.
Additional Survey Results
Among other results, eHealth's Small Employer Health
Insurance Survey found the following:
-- Nearly eight-in-ten small businesses (79%) report spending $200 or
more for health insurance per insured employees or dependent each
-- A majority (53%) said they required employees to contribute 10% or
less of the total cost for their own or their dependents' monthly
health insurance premiums
-- More than six-in-ten (61%) reported that enrollee deductibles on their
group health insurance plans were $1,500 or less per year
-- One-third of respondents (34%) said they might consider dropping
employer-based group health insurance beginning in 2014
-- A majority of respondents (53%) said that they always or sometimes
impose waiting periods before allowing new employees to join the
company health insurance plan
-- More than four-in-ten (44%) said they felt a "moral obligation" to
provide employees with health insurance
-- Most small businesses identified "affordability" (95%) and "richness
of benefits" (68%) as the two most important factors when choosing a
health insurance plan
-- Only six percent considered the insurer's brand a top-two factor when
choosing a plan
eHealth, Inc. conducted an anonymous online survey of 236
eHealthInsurance.com small business customers to gain
insight into trends in customer behavior and sentiments
about health care costs, health care reform legislation,
and potential cost-saving strategies. The Small Employer
Health Insurance Survey report summarizes those findings.
The survey was emailed to a random sample of nearly 3,000
eHealthInsurance small business customers in 30 states plus
the District of Columbia (AK, AL, AR, CA, AZ, NJ, FL, TX,
MI, WA, MD, IN, DC, CO, VA, MO, TN, WI, NC, ID, SC, MN, DE,
CT, LA, IA, MA, NE, NH, NM, WY). Results were collected
between February 10 and March 13, 2012.
To read more about the survey's methodology, download
the full Small Employer Health Insurance Survey report.
About eHealth eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent
company of eHealthInsurance, the nation's leading
online source of health insurance for individuals, families
and small businesses. Through the company's website,
www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from
leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by
side, and apply for and purchase health insurance.
eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and
small business health plans underwritten by more than 180
of the nation's leading health insurance companies.
eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in
all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the
ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health
insurance exchange. Through the company's
eHealthTechnology solution (www.eHealthTechnology.com),
eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance
exchange technology. eHealthTechnology's exchange
platform provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions
that enable health plan providers, resellers and government
entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth,
Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools
to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options,
choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online
through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber.com
(www.planprescriber.com) and through its Medicare website
For more health insurance news and information, visit the
eHealthInsurance consumer blog: Get Smart - Get Covered.
For media inquiries, please contact:
(805) 527-7733 - direct
SOURCE: eHealth, Inc.