QuickPoll: Health Insurance, the Affordable Care Act and Small Businesses
Results Now Available from New QuickPoll on Health Coverage for Small Business Employers
In September 2015, ACCE’s Education Attainment Division (EAD) team polled its members on Health Coverage for Small Business Employees. 118 participants answered 6 short questions, providing ACCE with a better understanding of the understanding of the knowledge small business owners have related to what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides to employees and what ACA technical support chambers executives would like to better serve their members. We would like to thank those individuals who participated in the poll and share the following survey highlights. Read our QuickPoll Summary or see below for full results.
Regardless of the potential for future policy changes, or political questions raised by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions of Americans and thousands of
smaller employers are getting health care coverage through the ACA. As a representative of and service provider to the small business community, do you know what the ACA provides to employees of small businesses? Would you like to know?
QuickPoll Questions & Results:
1. Approximately what percentage of your membership is composed of small businesses (less than 50 full time employees)?*
No Responses <1%
2. Do your small business members have enough information about the ACA enrollment process to help their employees sign up for individual Qualified Health Plans*?*A Qualified Health Plan is an insurance plan that is certified by the Health Insurance Marketplace, provides essential health benefits, follows established limits on cost-sharing (like deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximum amounts), and meets other requirements.*
*No Responses <1%
3. Does your chamber currently play any role with small business members regarding ACA or other health care coverage? Please check all that apply.
Full text of answer choices:
- We provide ACA information for local small businesses and/or their employees on our website.
- We include ACA information for local small businesses and/or their employees in our chamber newsletter.
- We host ACA informational events for local small businesses.
- We offer a health plan through our chamber, which does not involve ACA or health care exchanges, so we are not involved in ACA information distribution.
- For other reasons, we currently do not provide ACA information for local small businesses.
Other Responses include:
- We employ 3 Navigators to assist in signing people and small business up on our state exchange. We also employ one full time Small Business Health Insurance Advocate to assist small businesses, members and non-members who have questions or want assistance for small business.
- We recognize we should, but have not being doing this. We want to start, but we are just not sure where to start.
- We had two seminars -- one well attended, second was not.
- We have had a successful private purchase cooperative since 2006 with over 700 members that cover 7,000 lives. The plan is ACA compliant and serves as a private exchange platform.
- This is done through our Agents who work through the Chamber.
- We would like to provide information as long as we are covered from a liability perspective and are not perceived to be competing with services offered by our members.
- We acted as a navigator in the NYS shop exchange but recently discontinued our contract because of the limited options offered to small businesses.
- We did something early on, but have not offered anything in the last couple of years.
- Our staff is too small and we have never been approached by even one member to assist in this area
- We have just signed on with Chamber Solutions which has kicked off a plan for Virginia employers
- We hosted two seminars in 2014 but have not done any this year.
- We have hosted two events in our community about ACA, but we have no ongoing effort.
- We are seeing a lot of grandfathering (using some type of alternative approach to continue with current coverage or something very much like it). Between the MEWAs and "captives" and the delays in implementation of the full ACA, most employers are working with agents and finding ways to "let it ride" for another year or two.
- Most of our work on ACA information distribution comes through our healthcare committee and is distributed to our membership through newsletters etc.
- We used to offer a pooled insurance product that was a cost savings benefit to our members, but the Affordable Care Act made our program illegal, driving up the costs of every business in our community that we are aware of and costing our organization about 7% of our membership who previously belonged.
- We just partnered with the local county hospital on a workplace wellness program. The program brings health and wellness programs normally reserved for large employers to employers of any size. In phase two we are organizing groups of employers to partner on shared employer-based health clinics.
- I've literally never heard the acronym.
- We have our member agents referred to.
- We have very little we can do as one insurance company has cut almost all other affordable options out of our state. This actually happened before the ACA. We have a rock star member that has helped almost every member with insurance and when they have trouble they call her.
4. Would you find it helpful to receive technical assistance, including a conference call or live webinar, to better understand ways that your chamber can assist its small business members and their employees with ACA enrollment? (Note: the three-month open enrollment period begins on November 1, 2015).*
*No Responses <1%
5. What additional support would you like to see offered? Please check all that apply.
Other responses include:
- Resources for chambers that also serve as intermediaries or brokers.
- Have someone come out and present information to businesses (we would organize it)
- We are well connected and receive more information than we need.
- We are not sure if our members see this as a chamber role.
- Although I am not terribly interested in ACA info for my members, I am interested for other chambers in my state that are scrambling for health insurance programs for their staffs.
- We have experts at local businesses who can provide in-person support, if we choose to provide that.
- Because there are constant changes in the regulations/legislation, we would be happy to continue to push new, relevant information as new businesses come on board and others grow.
- Our local broker was already helping small businesses get better rates before the ACA. There was chaos when ACA started because a lot of healthy people on individual plans paired with an HSA account lost their rates because one insurance company chased out another and absorbed some others.
6. 86 respondents (i.e. 72.9%) opted in to receive upcoming technical assistance conference call or webinar invitations. Recordings of the webinars are available on the Workforce Wellness and Community Health Chamberpedia page.
For questions or support, please contact EAD Team Member Analidia Blakely at [email protected].