CT Small Businesses Believe Health Insurance is Essential Benefit for Employees, but Worry about Cost

Access Health CT Small Business Survey Shows Few Concerned about Tax Penalties for Not Complying with the ACA

Jun 11, 2013, 14:32 ET from Access Health CT

HARTFORD, Conn., June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Eighty percent of small businesses in Connecticut believe health insurance is an essential benefit for employees, while at the same time reporting that their biggest concern is the cost of high premiums, according to the Access Health CT Small Business Survey, recently conducted at the CT Business Expo in Hartford by Access Health CT.

When asked what their biggest worry about health insurance exchanges is, 70 percent of respondents answered high premiums.  The next biggest concern was not having enough choice in plans, cited by 17 percent.  Only 11 percent were worried about the penalty they will have to pay if they don't comply, with the remaining few saying they are concerned about a delay and/or mistakes in receiving their tax credit. 

Small businesses are divided on whether or not they know enough about what the Affordable Health Care Act means for them.  According to the Access Health CT Small Business Survey, 44 percent of Connecticut small business owners believe they are knowledgeable about the Affordable Care Act and what it means for their businesses, with 32 percent saying they are not.

When asked what aspect of the ACA is most important, the majority said that individuals with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied insurance.  The second most important reform cited was equal rates for men and women. 

Access Health CT conducted the survey in their continuing efforts to understand the health insurance concerns facing residents of Connecticut.   "We fully appreciate the issues about costs and choice, which is why we are working with insurance carriers to offer a wide range of options that offer real value," said Kevin Counihan, Chief Executive Office, Access Health CT, "Clearly there is still a lot of education to do about the ACA and how Access Health CT can help small businesses in time for the beginning of enrollment in October."

Access Health CT's presence at CT Business Expo is just one part of their community outreach program which includes a robust series of Healthy Chats, town hall forums across the state which offer small businesses and individuals the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a dialogue with health experts about major changes that could benefit health insurance buyers.

Access Health CT is one of the few state exchanges to launch Small Employer Health Options Plans (SHOP), which will offer a variety of health insurance options to small businesses and their employees.   SHOP will enable small employers to offer plans from multiple insurers to their employees and receive a single bill.  Access Health CT is also actively working with insurance brokers across the state to ensure they are trained and supported as they work with small businesses throughout Connecticut. 

Survey findings are based on 75 completed questionnaires from randomly selected attendees at the CT Small Business Expo in Hartford, CT on June 6, 2013.

About Access Health CT
Access Health CT (also known as the Exchange) was created by the Connecticut Legislature in 2011 and is a quasi-public agency established to satisfy requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act.  Its mission is to increase the number of insured residents in Connecticut, promote health, lower costs and eliminate health disparities. Its vision is to provide a simple online shopping and enrollment experience for state residents and small businesses, starting with open enrollment in October 2013.

Access Health CT will ensure that participating health plans meet certain standards, and will facilitate competition and choice by rating the quality of each plan. Individuals and families buying coverage through the Exchange may qualify for tax credits on premiums. The Exchange will also coordinate eligibility and enrollment with state Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs. More information is available at www.AccessHealthCT.com

SOURCE Access Health CT