NFIB’s FGR Manager wrote an op-ed addressing the healthcare affordability crisis
Healthcare costs are among the top concerns for small business owners, and they are facing a significant affordability crisis. According to a recent NFIB survey, 98% of small employers offering health insurance are concerned that the cost of providing health insurance to their employees will become unsustainable in the next 5-10 years. NFIB’s Federal Government Relations Manager Josselin Castillo, wrote an op-ed on how the high cost of health insurance threatens Main Street.
“Small business owners desperately want to take care of their employees, but the broken health insurance system makes it harder to compete in attracting top talent. Main Street faces higher costs than large corporations because small businesses don’t have the same market power and face higher regulatory requirements and mandates.”
Castillo provided suggestions for how the government could make healthcare a more feasible option for small business owners:
- Congress should expand access to financial assistance tools like tax-free health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements.
- Lawmakers should make Association Health Plans available to businesses regardless of industry.
- Lawmakers should also improve and expand the small business health insurance tax credit to deliver long-overdue promised relief.
Over half (56%) of small employers reported that they currently offer health insurance to employees. But a staggering 98% of small businesses offering health insurance are concerned that healthcare costs will become unsustainable within the next 5-10 years according to NFIB’s survey.
“What small businesses really need is Congressional leadership,” Castillo explains. “It’s encouraging that Congress is holding hearings on healthcare affordability, listening to small business owners and their challenges. But action is what’s needed most. Lawmakers should empower small businesses with more choices instead of a one-size-fits-all approach that neglects to consider each business’s unique needs.”
Offering healthcare benefits is key for recruiting and retaining employees, 66% of small employers believe it is very or somewhat important. Which is even more important now with businesses experiencing acute workforce shortages. There is a sense of urgency among small business owners for lawmakers to address the affordability crisis and provide manageable solutions to make offering health insurance possible.
“When small businesses are forced to cut back on health insurance or other benefits, it hurts their ability to attract talent, reward their employees, and build up their communities. After 40 years of small businesses saying this is their top problem, it’s time for Congress to step up and finally make health insurance affordable for Main Street.”