10 takeaways on health insurance coverage variance between small & large firms

Megan Wood -  

Small and large firms diverge in their health insurance offering, based on the 2015 Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, according to The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Small firms include employers with three to 199 employees and large firms include employers with 200 or more employees. Most U.S. workers are employed at large firms.


Here are 10 takeaways:


1. Small firms are less likely to offer health insurance coverage and small firm employees often have to pay a larger share of family premiums and higher cost sharing.


2. Of small firms, 56 percent offer health insurance, compared to 98 percent of large firms.


3. Of small firms not offering health insurance, 41 percent attributed it to the expense.


4. Of workers at offering and non-offering firms, 45 percent are covered by health benefits at small firms in contrast to 63 percent at large firms.


5. Small firm employees with health insurance are more likely to experience a waiting period for enrollment compared to those in large firms.


6. Small firm employees receive lower average premiums of $16,625 on average for family coverage compared to $17,938 on average for large firms. Single coverage rates do not significantly vary between small and large firms.


7. Geographically, small firm employees have lower rates of single and family premiums in the West.


8. Small firm employees with single coverage often contribute less to their premiums than large firm employees.


9. Large firm workers are less likely to enroll in Point of Service plans. Preferred Provider Organizations are the plan of choice for small and large firm workers.


10. Small firms more often allot administrative tasks associated with health programs to outside sources.


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