Health insurance and small business: more money, less coverage

Employer-based health insurance premiums are up 5 percent this year and have more than doubled since 1999 — a growth rate that far outpaces inflation as well as any increase in workers’ wages over the same period, according to an annual employer survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, which polled nearly 2,000 employers.

The Miami Herald points out that the news is even more stressful for small employers.

Meanwhile, a growing number of workers at smaller firms are getting less coverage for their money as health plans with high deductibles and fewer benefits become more prevalent.

The portion of workers with single coverage who pay a deductible of at least $1,000 has jumped from 10 percent to 18 percent in the past two years. Among smaller firms with three to 199 employees, the rate has more than doubled from 16 percent to 35 percent.