The Affordable Care Act Has Helped Small Businesses


Prior to the Affordable Care Act, Americans employed by small businesses were much more likely to be uninsured than those working for larger companies. The costs of providing coverage were higher for small firms, and, in many states, insurance companies charged higher rates to people with preexisting conditions and discriminated based on health status, gender, and other characteristics.

But as detailed in a new Commonwealth Fund report, the outlook for small-business workers, solo entrepreneurs, and other self-employed Americans has improved since the ACA’s insurance market reforms, consumer subsidies, and Medicaid expansion took effect. The uninsured rate for workers in small firms has fallen, while health costs have stabilized for many businesses that provide coverage. Meanwhile, predictions by ACA critics that the employer mandate for companies with more than 50 workers would lead to job losses, or a shift toward part-time workers, have failed to materialize.

Authors David Chase and John Arensmeyer of the Small Business Majority, caution, however, that recent rules issued by the Trump administration — including changes to promote short-term health insurance plans that don’t need to comply with ACA standards — could destabilize the marketplaces and reduce coverage rates for the small-business community.

small business owner 1x1 Read the report The Affordable Care Act Has Helped Small Businesses