Recent Survey Finds Health Insurance Rates More Affordable for Small Business Than Imagined.
A recent survey found that small businesses actually have more options for affordable health insurance rates then was once thought. The survey was conducted by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) a national association representing nearly 1,300 member companies providing health insurance coverage to more than 200 million Americans. AHIP polled over 650,000 members considered small group health insurance providers, those with 50 employees or less, and found that:
The survey also found that as a whole overall health insurance premium rates for small groups were less in 2006 than they were in 2005. Another key finding in the survey found that not only are heath insurance rates somewhat lower for small business then they once were, but there appear to be more options for health insurance coverage for employees of small businesses then is the common perception. Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of AHIP said the somewhat surprising results of the survey indicate that, "Small businesses need affordable products for their employees and health insurance plans are responding by offering innovative product designs with lower premiums..."; A .pdf of the entire survey can be downloaded at: http://www.ahip.org/
More good news for consumers and small business owners regarding the rates we are paying for healthcare can be found in a recent report released by The Center for Studying Health Systems Change, a non-partisan "think-tank"; located in Washington DC. The HSC's mission is to "inform policy makers and private decision makers about how local and national changes in the financing and delivery of health care affect people."; The HSC study recently found that while we continue to pay more for prescription drugs in general, the growth in prescription drug spending is slowing. AHIP attributes much of this slowed growth to initiatives and cost containment measures health insurers are putting into place, and insurers are then able to pass on these savings in lower health insurance premium rates to small groups. This has the net effect of lowering health care spending overall. Says Ignagni, "Our community has reinvented cost-containment strategies and is deploying a new generation of tools and techniques to stretch health care dollars and mitigate the burden of rising medical costs. Health insurance plans' tiered prescription drug formularies, cutting-edge disease management and prevention programs, and important investments in health information technology are helping consumers get the care they need while taking unnecessary costs out of the system.";