Small Business and Operating Expenses - Health Insurance
Location, Location, Location - its been said that is the most important thing when it comes to buying Real Estate. Well if you are running a small business it can also be the most important thing when it comes to buying Health Insurance. If you are just thinking about starting a business, or plan on moving your existing business - where you locate can make a significant difference in what you will pay for small business health insurance for yourself and your employees.
Despite current attempts at healthcare reform, health insurance still takes a big bite out of any small businesses bottom-line, and its getting worse. There are various reasons as to why rates for small business health insurance vary from state to state but the fact of the matter is that they do - sometimes dramatically. According to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) the most expensive states for employer-sponsored health insurance are, Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts. In all of these States family health insurance for each employee ranged from $7000.00 - 8500.00 per year. On the other hand if you want to save money, dress warm and make sure the policy you are looking at covers colds, flu, and exposure - because the Dakotas top out the list of the least expensive States to purchase health insurance for small business owners. Rounding out that list are: Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, California, Iowa, Virginia, Kansas, and South Carolina all of which ranged from 5000.00 - 7000.00 per year in health insurance premiums per employee of small businesses.
Now of course what the numbers do not take into account are what you actually get in terms of benefits for those numbers, and interestingly enough like in many industries "you get what you pay for" is a bit of a truism when it comes to health insurance as well, because many of the states that make the top 10 in costs also were recently featured in the Top 10 Best Health Plans survey published in US News and World Report. The pure numbers also do not take into account other factors which effect why health insurance rates for small businesses or individuals for that matter, vary from State to State. Such as age of the population, general health of the population, overall healthcare costs, and the types of health insurance plans available or most popular in a given State.
However, with current proposed legislation in health insurance reform emphasizing shifting more of the burden to provide affordable health insurance onto States and individuals, both factors need consideration. It's important for small business owners to see where their States, or other States they may be considering starting-up in or relocating to - stack up in terms of both costs and services when it comes to making the best decisions regarding health insurance for themselves and their employees.