Healthcare costs continue to be one of the most distressing costs for Connecticut’s small businesses, not only due to rising premiums, but also because of the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The time to reduce healthcare costs is now, and here’s why:
Budgets Are Tight
This year, because of the ACA, small businesses face additional administrative requirements and as a result, costs will likely continue to rise above and beyond already increasing premium dollars.
Also under the ACA, federal dollars will not subsidize any new health benefit mandates adopted by the legislature--instead, new mandates will require spending state dollars.
Connecticut already ranks high among other states in the number of health benefit mandates and also one of the highest in overall healthcare costs in the United States (8th highest in the U.S., 2012 Health Care Policy Cost Index of the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council, a ranking achieved in great part due to the state’s high mandate total).
Yet, legislative committees are considering even more mandates leading to further increased health insurance costs for small businesses and the state.
The ACA changed the conversation on mandates and policymakers must respond accordingly.
Most Small Businesses Purchase State-Regulated Plans
Currently, about half of Connecticut’s privately insured population receives insurance from fully insured plans regulated by the state (where the employer pays part of the premium) and the other half receives insurance through self-insured plans (where the employer assumes the financial risk).
The state regulated market is dominated by small businesses, since they typically do not have the financial means to self insure.
Simply put, the legislature has the power to help small businesses by reducing the number of existing mandates and rejecting any new mandates that would drive up the cost of premiums.
The Time Is Now
We rely on small businesses to spur innovation and economic growth. Small businesses rely on state legislators to foster an environment that supports that growth.
Similar to state government, small businesses cannot afford to spend significant portions of their budget on health insurance costs. Small business continues to do their part, working to innovate in Connecticut; the legislature must act as well, by doing what it can to reduce health insurance costs.
Our small businesses understand the ACA will bring new administrative burdens and potential new premium increases. And, therefore small businesses know we can’t afford to have the same discussion on health insurance costs and specifically mandates.
Our small businesses our ready to adapt and our policymakers must do the same.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Jennifer Herz at 860.244.1921 or firstname.lastname@example.org.