Strategies for Providing Employee Health Benefits in Small Businesses
Some small business leaders remain unaware of how to offer cost-effective health care benefits to employees despite available government subsidies and threat of fines for not providing benefits. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore strategies that small business leaders use to provide employees cost-effective health care benefits. Using espoused theory and theory-in-use as a conceptual framework, face-to-face, semistructured interviews with a purposive sample of 20 small business leaders in New York City allowed exploration of their perceptions and lived experiences on offering health care benefits to employees. For data analysis, Moustaka's modified Van Kaam method was used to identify emergent themes, which included the high cost of health insurance premiums, waiver of coinsurance and deductibles, and public awareness about health insurance exchanges. The data analysis also revealed that these small business leaders felt that resisting Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) implementation was a service to employees. Findings and recommendations from this study may effect social change by identifying small business leaders' barriers and solutions in offering cost-effective health care benefits. These findings may also enhance the competitive hiring position of small business leaders, remove the risk of fines, and reduce the uninsured population through PPACA compliance.