WASHINGTON – Slightly less than half of 750 small businesses recently surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Business offer health insurance to their employees, but 91% of the business owners have health insurance for themselves. Why the disparity? The number one reason cited was the high cost of health insurance. Michael Morrisey, a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the author of the NFIB's study said small business employers have always been particularly vulnerable to health insurance premium increases, and few of them have the human resources to thoroughly investigate the coverage options available to them. NFIB has made legislation allowing national trade associations to sell health plans that are exempt from state coverage mandates, its top priority in Congress. A bill passed the House but stalled in the Senate. -

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