Focus

The business of health care

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)—regardless of its critics and proponents—will affect all businesses in some way. The Kaiser Family Foundation and its Health Research & Education Trust conducted a survey in 2012 to learn how large companies (more than 200 employees) and small companies (three to 199 employees) approach health care coverage and benefits.

According to the survey, 98 percent of large companies offer health care benefits compared with 61 percent of small companies. The top reasons why small companies don't offer health care benefits? They say the costs are too high, employees are covered elsewhere and their companies are too small.

Among the small companies that do not offer health care benefits, 15 percent shopped for insurance within the past year compared with 39 percent who shopped for health insurance in 2007.

For companies offering health insurance, employees at small companies contribute 16 percent of their annual premium costs, and employees at large companies contribute 18 percent. The gap widens for family coverage: employees at small companies contribute 35 percent of their annual premium costs; employees at large companies contribute 25 percent.

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