As health premiums rise, small businesses seek alternatives

In this Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, photo, Gail Trauco, owner of The PharmaKon, left, talks with Jordan Rubio, her office manager and son, while working in

In this Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, photo, Gail Trauco, owner of The PharmaKon, looks over insurance documents on her computer in Peachtree City, Ga. Many s

In this Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, photo, Midwest Scrap Management President Jerrit Burgess, right, and Chief Financial Officer Craig Ward stand at the scr

In this Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, photo, workers place old automobiles on a scrap pile to be shredded at Midwest Scrap Management in Kansas City, Mo. The

NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses are getting notices about their premium and coverage changes for 2018, and some are making adjustments because of that.

The changes vary depending on the state where a company is located, how many employees it has and how comprehensive its insurance is. But many owners are facing rate increases of double-digit percentages or dramatically reduced coverage — or both.

Health insurance consultants expect more owners to rethink their strategies beyond 2018 and choose alternatives like paying for claims themselves or adding health services that can lower costs.

Workshop Digital's premiums are soaring 55 percent, and co-founder Brian Forrester says the business will be less profitable as it absorbs that. He may have to ask the Richmond, Virginia-based marketing agency's staffers to pay more for coverage in the future.