Small Employers and Their Health Benefits, 1988-1996:

An Awkward Adolescence

September/October 1997
Health Affairs , vol.16, no.5 (September/October 1997): 103-110
Jon R. Gabel, Paul B. Ginsburg, Kelly A. Hunt

mall employers are less likely to offer insurance, and their employees are less likely to accept it. Analysis of the period 1988 to 1996 reveals trends that may explain some of the backlash against managed care - which now has a dominant share of the small-employer market. Choice of plan type has increased at small firms, but choice of medical providers has decreased. Premiums are about the same for large and small firms, but benefits are lower and deductibles higher for small employers. Moreover, employees in small firms pay a larger portion of the premium, especially in managed care plans as compared to conventional plans.

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