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MetLife: Health Gap Narrow

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Businesses with fewer than 100 employees are much more likely to offer medical insurance than they are to offer other employee benefits.

A unit of MetLife Inc., New York, has released figures on the benefits offered by small, midsize and large employers in a study based on the results from the company’s annual employee benefits survey.

Researchers conducted interviews with benefits decisionmakers at 1,500 U.S. employers with 2 or more employees.

Researchers compared the benefits menus at employers with fewer than 100 employees, 100 to 500 employees, and more than 500 employees.

Despite concerns about employee access to health benefits at small employers, 95% of the small businesses participating in the survey offer medical insurance, compared with 97% of the midsize employers and 96% of the large employers.

The difference between the offer rate was much bigger for other types of benefits.

At the small employers, the offer rate was 61% for dental insurance, 57% for disability insurance and 50% for term life insurance.

At the midsize employers, the offer rate was 88% for dental insurance, 83% for disability insurance and 80% for term life insurance.

At the large employers, the offer rate was 93% for dental insurance, 87% for disability insurance and 81% for term life insurance.