As many expected, some businesses in Massachusetts actually have accountants – or maybe just calculators – and have figured out it will be less expensive and more stable for their business plans to drop health care benefits for employees and pay the fine.
Since April 1, the date many insurance contracts are renewed for small businesses, the owners of about 90 small companies terminated their insurance plans with Braintree-based broker Jeff Rich and indicated in a follow-up survey that they were relying on publicly-funded insurance for their employees.
In Sandwich, business consultant Bill Fields said he has been hired by small businesses to enroll about 400 workers in state-subsidized care since April, because the company owners said they could no longer afford to provide coverage. Fields said that is by far the largest number he has handled in such a short time.
“They are giving up out of frustration,’’ Fields said of the employers. “Most of them are very compassionate but they simply can’t afford health insurance any more.’’
This is not expected, and quite honestly, this is exactly what the current administration and Democrats in Congress are expecting will happen. They are perfectly fine with setting up the rules in such a way the final play of the game will be full-blown single-payer health care in the United States … with no option available for private insurance.
Employers face a fine of less than $300 per employee not covered by health insurance. They have to pay thousands per employee every year for the insurance. In this economy, which option will look best — especially when a company’s competitors dump coverage to keep prices low? Anyone who has run a business can answer that question easily.