HDA partnered with the Campaign for Better Healthcare and the Small Business Majority to disseminate information on the ACA’s Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, to Illinois small businesses, and to survey their health insurance needs and concerns.
Small businesses have long been at a disadvantage in the health insurance market, paying about 18% more on average than large firms for the same policies. In Illinois, they have also had to struggle with unpredictable and unreasonable premium increases. But in 2011, some 194,000 small businesses in Illinois were expected to become eligible for substantial tax credits through the Affordable Care Act, making it easier for them to provide employer-sponsored coverage; and in 2014, they could buy coverage through the ACA’s Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP.
To bring information on the SHOP and tax credits to Illinois small business owners – many of whom were unaware of how the ACA’s provisions applied to them – the partners worked with the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The resulting Small Business Health Collaborative created fact sheets and case studies to help small business owners make smart choices for themselves, their company, and their employees.
The collaborative also joined with the Women’s Business Development Center to survey the health insurance needs and concerns of small businesses in five Midwestern states. Among the striking results, they found that only 53% offered health insurance to employees, and more than half reported cost to be a barrier.
The project was supported by the Michael Reese Health Trust.
Visit the project site
- Small Business Majority presentation: “How Does Health Reform Help Small Employers?” (2011, explains small business tax credits)
- Illinois Health Matters post: “Supporting Chicago’s Entrepreneurs: Marketplace Brings New Health Coverage Options” (2014)
- Illinois Health Matters post: “Small Businesses in Illinois Lack Knowledge of What the ACA Has to Offer Them” (2014)
- Illinois Health Matters post: “Does Your Cab Driver Have Health Insurance? Why Not Ask…” (2014)
- Illinois Health Matters case study: “ABC Auto”
- Crain’s: “Here’s why Chicago small-business owners aren’t satisfied with the Affordable Care Act” (2014)
- WBDC/HDA press release on the survey results
- Crain’s: “Small business to Trump: Let us help revamp Obamacare” (2017)
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