Employers say health plans may be key to surviving labor shortages

Small businesses aren't just bumping up wages to attract employees amid labor shortages — they are also doubling-down on strong health insurance benefits, according to a Jan. 27 Bloomberg report. 

The percentage of small employers offering health coverage has dropped 11 percentage points to 60 percent since 2001. 

Tracy Watts, senior partner and national leader for U.S. health policy at Mercer, told Bloomberg that as low-wage positions settle around similar hourly wages, health coverage can seriously sway an employee's decision. 

Jack Hooper, co-founder and CEO of health reimbursement account administrator Take Command in Dallas, said 80 percent of his clients are new to offering benefits to employees. He told Bloomberg that the pandemic has caused "a big uptick" in employers offering health coverage for the first time.

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