IBA Southeast: Study finds small Kentucky employers don’t provide health insurance

Health insurance provision for employees is on a downward trend among small businesses in Kentucky

Insurance News

By Allie Sanchez

A study commissioned by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky revealed that most of the state’s small employers don’t offer health insurance.

In 2015, 98% of Kentucky businesses with 50 or more employees offered health insurance. The rate is about the same as in 2012.

In contrast, only 27% of small businesses with less than 50 employees provided the same benefit to their employees. The rate was a sharp drop from the 36% recorded in 2012.

The report noted that this reflects a long term decline in employers providing health insurance.

“That drop of nearly 10 percentage points means that thousands fewer Kentucky small businesses offered health insurance to their workers in 2015,” Ben Chandler, president and chief executive of the foundation told reporters. “We have to make health insurance and health care affordable for all — residents, workers, employers.”

Further, the report stressed that having health insurance is “associated with increased access to needed medical care, better health outcomes and improved health status.”

The findings are part of a three-year report for the foundation by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota to examine the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in Kentucky.

Additionally, the report suggests that insurance premiums are rising for single people, with employers’ average annual insurance premium for single private-sector employees increasing by $587 from 2012 to 2015, from $5,397 to $5,984. The increase reflects a long-term nationwide trend, the report further said.

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