Health insurance premiums for small companies increased by an average of 23% during the past year, according to National Small Business United. Most increases ranged from 1% to 25%, but 17% of the surveyed companies reported increases between 26% and 50%. No wonder health-insurance costs and availability were cited as the most important problems the small companies faced.

Percentage increase in Health Premiums:

None 12%

1% to 25% 41

26% to 50% 17

51% to 75% 2

76% to 100% 1

No answer* 27

*NSBU believes respondents who didn't answer so not provide health insurance for their employees.

Source: 1991 National Small Business United Member Survey, Washington, D.C.