One-third of small businesses in California say they offer health insurance to their employees, and 44% say they are likely to do so once the state's insurance exchange opens in 2014, according to a report from Kaiser Permanente and Small Business Majority, an advocacy group that supports the health reform law, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The survey of 386 small business owners was conducted in April and May (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 6/12).
About the Exchange
The reform law requires states to launch online insurance marketplaces by 2014.
The California Health Benefit Exchange primarily will serve individuals and small businesses. An estimated 4.4 million California residents are expected to use the exchange by the end of 2016 (California Healthline, 6/1).
The exchange aims to negotiate the best rates with insurers and help small businesses and individuals purchase health insurance using federal subsidies and tax credits.
The exchange also could make it easier for small businesses to provide employees with a set amount for their health coverage and then allow them to choose their own insurer and plan.
About 50% of small businesses said the insurance exchange was an attractive option for offering health coverage, according to the survey.
The survey also found that only 49% of small business owners who are eligible for federal tax credits designed to offset the cost of providing health benefits were aware of the provision (Los Angeles Times, 6/12).
On Tuesday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on the survey from Kaiser Permanente and Small Business Majority (Bartolone, "KXJZ News," Capitol Public Radio, 6/12).