Issue: Health Care
8 Reasons Why Small Businesses Will Benefit from the Patient's
Bill of Rights
1. Small businesses will be better able to compare
When selecting a health plan, many employers - particularly
small employers, who usually don't have human resources departments
- often don't even know or understand exactly what they are
purchasing. By requiring public disclosure of a health plan's
benefits, grievance procedures, and financial arrangements
with providers, small businesses can make more informed decisions
about which plan to purchase, and will better be able to evaluate
how that plan performs.
2. Better quality health care won't make costs sky
rocket for small businesses.
Studies show that increasing quality standards may raise rates
only slightly, and that consumers and small businesses are
willing to pay more if this leads to better care. Insurance
industry claims of massive rate increases and a huge drop
off in employer-sponsored coverage are grossly inflated.
3. It will level the playing field for small businesses
and their workers.
Large employers have the purchasing power to negotiate
not just better rates, but also terms for better quality of
care. By requiring every plan to adopt the same minimum standards,
all employers and employees - at both big and small businesses
- will be playing under the same rules and be afforded a more
equitable level of service.
4. It will reduce the risk and complexity of buying
A national standard for consumer protection will give
small businesses the assurance that whatever plan they buy
will provide at least a basic level of responsible coverage.
5. Business owners won't need to intervene in battles
between employees and their health plan.
Frustrated employees who are unable to settle disputes
with their health plans often ask their employers to get involved.
Small business owners often don't have the time or expertise
to properly deal with these situations. With a new independent
appeals process, employees will have other and better places
to turn to resolve their disputes.
6. It will lead to healthier and more productive workers.
Since employees and their families will better be
able to get the care they need and deserve, they should be
sick less often and absent less frequently. Additionally,
with increased consumer protections, workers can spend more
time focused on their jobs, rather than battling with their
health plans or fearing they or their families won't be able
to see the proper doctor when needed.
7. The insurance industry will be held accountable,
just like any other business.
The Patient's Bill of Rights will make health plans
- just like doctors, nurses, and everyone else in the health
care system - accountable for the decisions they make. Businesses
are accountable to their customers, employees and vendors,
and it is only reasonable that health plans be held to the
same standard. This should lead to better health care as insurance
companies will be required to provide proper and necessary
treatment or be held legally responsibility.
8. Small business owners are consumers, too.
Most small business owners and their families belong
to the same health plan as their employees. Therefore, they
want to see a better system as much as any other consumer.
In fact, a national poll by the Kaiser-Harvard Program and
ASBA Education Fund showed small business owners mirror the
general public with their overwhelming support of health care
consumer protection legislation.