A survey by online health benefits seller eHealthInsurance of 439 small business owners finds most do not understand applicable provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The act requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide coverage. Only two of the surveyed businesses were large enough to fall under the requirement, yet 34% believed they had to provide coverage and another 35% didn’t know. Thirty-one percent correctly knew that they were not required to pay a tax if they did not offer insurance because of the size of their business.

More than three-quarters of surveyed small businesses were not familiar with reform-mandated insurance exchanges, designed to be one-stop shopping sites for health benefits for employees and those who don’t have work-related benefits.

Sixty-eight percent of surveyed employers have no plans to drop coverage for employees in 2014, 29% would consider dropping coverage and 3% expect to drop it.

More than three-quarters of respondents are not doing long-term planning on how health reform, including insurance exchanges, may affect their business. In addition, 51% would consider increasing employees’ share of premium costs and 39% would consider increasing the deductible.

A large majority of small business respondents (77%) say they were not doing any long-term planning based on their expectations of how health care reform might impact their business, and just as many (78%) said they did not know how 2014 health care exchanges could impact their business.

Full survey results are available here.

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