Oregon Public Broadcasting

Many of Oregon's smaller businesses are not taking advantage of new tax credits for providing health care. That's according to a study released Wednesday by the consumer group Families USA.

Last year, half the people working for businesses with fewer than 10 employees were offered health coverage.

For people working in businesses with 200 employees or more, just about everyone was. As part of the federal health care overhaul, Congress created a tax credit for small business owners who provide health care. Families USA found that of 73,000 such businesses in Oregon, 70 percent are eligible for the credit.

John Arensmeyer of "Small Business Majority" says many owners just don't know about it.

Arensmeyer says, "We know from all of our polling that small businesses want to offer health coverage. We hear that from well over 80 percent of the businesses we survey. And yet 86 percent of those businesses say they don't do it is because of cost. So these tax credits are helping to go right at that issue."

Families USA and Small Business Majority are national non-profits focused on health care. They contracted with the Lewin Group to develop the report.

On the Web

Family Issues USA: PDF

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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