Small companies — those with 3 to 24 employees — are bracing for continuing health care cost increases, and indicate that they may have to shift more of that expense to workers, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey.
The 805 small employers, surveyed last May and June, suggest that the scope of that shift will be influenced by how much costs rise.
If it's a 10-percent hike, 63 percent of employers say they are likely to absorb the expense. If costs rise by 25 percent, however, employers are more likely to increase what employees pay, and many (27 percent) say that such an increase would probably force them to drop coverage entirely.
HOW LIKELY WOULD SMALL EMPLOYERS BE TO ...
... absorb the cost?
... reduce the scope of benefits offered?
... increase employees' premium contributions?
... drop coverage?"
Don't know/refused to answer" not shown.
SOURCE: KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION, NATIONAL SURVEY OF SMALL BUSINESSES, APRIL 2002