Idaho Business Health Insurance
Like many States Idaho businesses are facing increasing costs for their group health insurance policies. As small businesses struggle to keep up with rising costs and do not want to cut health benefits to their employees, State insurance officials recognize that it is not necessarily the size of the business, but income level that determines if an Idahoan business is able to provide full employee health coverage.
A recent survey complied by the Idaho Commerce and Labor Department found that there really wasn't much difference in the State in the percentage of companies large or small that were providing health benefits to employees. According to the study 93 % of small business, described as anywhere from 50 - 99 employees provide health benefits while 95% of so called large businesses those with 100 or more employees, provided health benefits. More importantly it seemed that the size of a company made very little difference when it came to how it was impacted by major increases in health insurance costs. Businesses large or small reacted the same way, unfortunately to cut or eliminate benefits for employees.
Times are especially tough for retailers who realize exactly what the survey was saying, that income not size is what matters when it comes to being able to provide affordable healthcare benefits to employees. Tim Aushnebruner Owner of A Cooks Paradise a small retailer of kitchenware in downtown Twin Falls says he is glad that his four employees have health benefits through their spouse's places of employment. He says he would love to be able to provide 100% health benefits for his employees, but he just does not make the kind of receipts to afford it. Legislators are proposing tax breaks and other incentives that could make it easier for small businesses like Tim's to purchase affordable group health insurance plans for their workers. In the meantime, insurance industry experts suggest that small businesses and big businesses alike shop around when it comes to trying to save money on health benefits. They should consider switching carriers before they decide to limit or cut benefits. Swenson's Market a chain of small grocers with 4 stores in the Magic Valley area has managed to keep 100% health benefits for their 50 some odd employees despite a 12% increase in their health insurance cost - by negotiating with their insurance company, according to owner Ben Swenson.
Still John Kee Chief Executive Officer of St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center sees something of a vicious cycle; as more and more employers big and small are forced to cut health benefits, more and more people join the ranks of the uninsured. Those with insurance wind up paying in the long run for the swelling ranks of the uninsured in higher premiums. As their premiums get higher and higher many of them can no longer afford their insurance and so they too became uninsured, and so on and so on. John says maybe when the vast majority of people in the country can no longer afford medical insurance the politicians will finally admit that we have a healthcare system that is broken and in severe need of fixing.