Only half of America's smallest businesses now offer health coverage to their workers because many say steady cost hikes have made it too expensive to afford a benefit that nearly all large employers still provide.
The Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday that 50 percent of companies with three to 49 employees offered coverage this year. That's down from 59 percent in 2012 and 66 percent more than a decade ago.
"There's just not as much money around for compensation, including benefits," said Gary Claxton, a Kaiser vice president and lead author of the nonprofit health policy organization's annual health benefits study.
Employer-sponsored coverage is the...