Smallest Colorado business continue to drop health insurance

The number of small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees is still declining, but at a slower pace than in previous years.

A report released Monday from the Colorado Division of Insurance shows that the number of people covered by health insurance in the small-group market declined by 4 percent in 2011. In 2010, that number declined by 7 percent.

The biggest drop occurred in the market for sole proprietors, which declined by 35 percent.

Key findings in the report include:

  • The total number of people covered by health insurance in the small-group market in 2011 declined by 10,625, or about 4 percent. The total number of small group employers offering health insurance also dropped in 2011 by 2,210, a 7 percent decrease from 2010.
  • The number of plans for employers with six to 50 employees increased.
  • The number of group plans for employers with 26 to 50 employees grew by 342, or about 53 percent; and covered 18,628 more lives in 2011, a 59 percent increase.
  • Small employers shifted to more multi-option plans that provide employees more choice, and decreased the use of Health Savings Account qualified plans in proportion to other plans.
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