A recent report notes that nearly 250,000 small businesses in Texas will get help providing their employees with Texas health insurance via a federal tax credit as part of the new health care laws. This credit may help to alleviate the startling fact that approximately one in four Texans is currently living without health insurance.
According to the Austin American Statesman, “The provision targets companies with 25 or fewer workers who earn an average of less than $50,000 a year. For Texas, the number of eligible businesses represents 81 percent of those with 25 or fewer workers.”
This tax credit is aimed at businesses that traditionally have the most difficulty providing employees with health benefits. Nationally, 72 percent of businesses with 10 to 25 workers offer employee health plans, versus 95 percent of businesses with 50 or more workers. The percentage drops considerably for businesses with 10 or fewer workers; less than 46 percent of those small companies offer health insurance to employees.
Despite the credit, which ranges up to 35 percent of health coverage costs for qualifying employers, not all small businesses will be able to provide their workers with Texas health insurance plans. Many businesses are simply trying to stay afloat and consider health coverage to be a luxury. But regardless, the impact should prove significant enough to make a dent in the high number of uninsured workers in Texas. And the more local employees with affordable Texas health insurance, the better. Having health insurance in place saves money in the long run and prevents medical emergencies and operations from bankrupting one’s future.
Of course, like all programs being implemented as part of the new health care legislation, the tax credit will be paid for by the already overburdened American taxpayers, so there’s that to consider as well.