Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

The Small Business Perspective on Health-Care Reform

Author(s):

December 2009

Community Development Investment Review

California has 6.5 million uninsured adults, 55 percent of whom work for companies that do not provide health insurance. This percentage accounts for 3.5 million individuals. According to a recent study conducted by the California Healthcare Foundation, roughly 30 percent of the more than 700,000 employers in California do not offer health insurance to their employees. In California, only 76 percent of businesses with 10–49 employees offer health coverage. Most of these noninsuring businesses are small- and medium-sized firms with up to 50 employees. These businesses cannot afford the insurance premiums and their low-income workers are unable to afford an employee match. Poor access to health-care takes a tremendous toll on individuals, the community, and the productivity of the state’s workforce.

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