Small businesses to see premiums rise

About 65 percent of small businesses soon will see premiums increase. The remaining 35 percent of small companies will see premiums drop, according to a recent report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The premium increase, which will affect roughly 11 million people, is a result of reform law requirements, which call for insurers to guarantee coverage and renewal options to small employers, reported Fox Business.

The report added that those businesses were previously paying below average premiums primarily because of a large proportion of young, healthy workers. But since the Affordable Care Act prevents insurers from allowing pre-existing conditions to affect premium costs, the companies with more young adults will see premiums increase, The Washington Post reported.

Despite the predictions, CMS conceded that the report contains "a rather large degree of uncertainty associated" with its estimates because it's still unknown how many small businesses will continue providing health plans and how much they will pay for the coverage.

Republican lawmakers quickly jumped on the report's conclusions, claiming that it means the Obama administration is admitting the reform law actually raises healthcare costs. But Democrats countered, saying the report, which was designed and ordered by the GOP, doesn't take into account billions of dollars in small business tax credits that will lower some companies' premiums, reported CNN.

To learn more:
- here's the CMS report (.pdf)
- read the Fox Business article
- check out The Washington Post article
- see the CNN article