Small Group Health Insurance
Up to 70% of employers in South Carolina with 50 or fewer workers do not offer group health insurance. That’s over about 66,000 small businesses in this state that cannot afford to offer health insurance to their employees. 35% of employers in South Carolina with 51-100 workers do not offer group health insurance. That’s another 1,000 small businesses in this state that cannot afford to offer health insurance to their employees. (Source—2003 survey by USC)
Addressing the crisis in small group health insurance is a top priority for the Small Business Chamber, which has worked closely with the SC Dept. of Insurance and offered legislation on the issue.
For several years, the Small Business Chamber has served on the Health Insurance Policy Advisory Committee (HIPAC) to gather information on the problem and actively worked on a policy development subcommittee to recommend solutions particularly for the working poor who are uninsured.
Legislatively, the Small Business Chamber has had legislation introduced to create a vehicle for small businesses to come together to either self-insure or to form a health insurance purchasing pool. While these efforts continue, the Small Business Chamber successfully worked for the establishment of a Commission on Health Care Access to pursue the recommendations of HIPAC and look at other issues related to affordability of small group health insurance.
In 2005, the Small Business Chamber is partnering with the SC Primary Health Care Association in a pilot project to match small businesses without health insurance with a primary health care provider in their area. The provider and business owner will negotiate a win-win arrangement that will enable the employees of the company to receive health care at lower cost.