Paying a Premium:
Dynamics of the Small Business Owner Health Insurance Market
Nonemployer small business owners who pay for their own health insurance epitomize two poorly understood features of the US economy: the small business sector and the individual health market. Nonemployer businesses are a large segment of the small business sector, and small business owners are especially likely to purchase health insurance on the individual market—4.4 million self-employed business owners purchased health insurance on this market in 2014. The economic experiences of these small business owners can inform both the well-being of the small business sector and the health of a substantial share of the individual health insurance market.
This brief focuses on the experiences of these small business owners purchasing health insurance for themselves or their families. We constructed a sample of over 30,000 firms who hold business banking deposit accounts with Chase to produce a monthly view of health insurance premium payments and other operating expenses from January 2014 to April 2017.