Poll Findings: Provisions of ACA Make Small Business Owners More Likely to Offer Insurance

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

The new healthcare law remains a hot topic, among lawmakers in our nation’s capitol and the small business community. Since its enactment, many have wondered how small business owners view parts of the law that are aimed at directly improving their ability to afford and purchase health insurance. A national poll we just released should put some of that curiosity to rest. Our survey found that one-third of small business owners are more likely to provide benefits to their workers due to the healthcare tax credits and insurance exchanges established through the new law.

Small Business Majority commissioned a survey of 619 small business owners with fewer than 50 employees from Nov. 17-22, 2010. We wanted to gauge their opinions on two key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: healthcare tax credits and insurance exchanges. For employers who don’t offer health insurance, one-third said they are more likely to do so because of the tax credits, and 31% of employers who currently offer it said the tax credits will make them more likely to continue offering it. The credits, which are available now, allow businesses with fewer than 25 employees that have average annual wages under $50,000 to get a tax credit of up to 35% of their health insurance costs.

The numbers were nearly identical when respondents were asked if the exchange will make them more likely to provide benefits: 33% of respondents who don’t provide insurance said the exchange would make them more likely to do so, and 31% who do provide insurance responded that the exchange would make them more likely to continuing providing it. The insurance exchanges are online marketplaces where small businesses and individuals can band together to buy insurance.

Previous polling we conducted showed that small business owners want to provide coverage to their employees, but often can’t because of exorbitant premiums—which is why this most recent data is so encouraging. Small business owners’ number one concern is controlling skyrocketing healthcare costs, and these provisions of the ACA do just that.

However, the survey also showed that many small business owners aren’t aware of these two important provisions of the law. This illustrates the need for continued education about these provisions. Only then will small businesses be able to reap the benefits the ACA provides.

For more information on these provisions, check out our FAQ. To determine whether you’re eligible for a tax credit, visit our online tax credit calculator.

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