Tue, 1 June 21

Prescription Drug Benefits Are A Big Problem for Small Businesses

June 1, 2021

Jamie Dudensing

recent survey of small business owners provides a warning for policy makers. Nearly one in three small business owners that provide health coverage to employees has considered dropping it—the vast majority because costs are too high.

Prescription drug costs are cited as the top concern in affording coverage. 89% percent of responders said the costs of prescription drugs are too high and 63% have an unfavorable view of pharmaceutical companies because of these prohibitive costs.

These results mirror those from a similar survey published in March that revealed that more than one in three small businesses report obtaining health for themselves and their employees has been a challenge during the pandemic. Black, Latino, and AAPI small business owners were more likely than white business owners to name this challenge. 90% of these small business owners supported bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, which the March survey also cited as the top concern in affordability of coverage.

The message is clear: the cost of health care—especially the cost of providing prescription drug coverage—is breaking business, leaving employers with the choices of hiring fewer employees, reducing benefits, or dropping health care benefits completely in order to stay afloat.

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