Survey: Insurance Situation Affects Women Business Owner's Views of Health Coverage

September 21, 2004 ( - A study released Tuesday shows that women business owners who offer health insurance have significantly different views on that coverage compared to women business owners not offering a health plan.

A study, commissioned jointly by the Blue Cross of California and the National Association of Women Business Owners California (NAWBO-CA), found that of uninsured participants, 50% said affordability was the key barrier to employee health-care coverage.

These uninsured employers place less emphasis on health-care coverage as an incentive to get new employees, with 77% of insured employers saying it is “very important”, compared to only 47% of uninsured employers. Not surprisingly, insured employers placed more emphasis on acquiring health coverage for their workers, with 83% saying it was “very important”, while only 50% of uninsured employers thought so.

As for contribution levels, 78% of insured employers report contributing over 50% of each employee’s health costs. Fifty percent of those pay for the entire premium. Of uninsured employers, 28% would consider paying over 50% of health costs.

Seventy-eight percent of women business owners consider independent brokers and agents to be the primary source for health-insurance information.

“We developed the survey to gauge women business owners’ health insurance preferences in an effort to consider plans that may better address their financial and health needs,” said Deborah Lachman, senior vice president of Individual and Small Group Services for Blue Cross of California, in a press release.