Social Security COLA expected to be low, plus health premiums hit a new high

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Welcome to another edition of the Small Business Rundown. It’s Thursday, and we’re counting down the hours until we awkwardly karaoke at the office happy hour (#teambonding). So, let’s jump into it.

Today, we’re talking about COLA (no, not the soft drink), why now is the time to make web accessibility a priority, and how health premiums equal the price of a new car.

2020 Social Security COLA expected to be smaller than this year’s

Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment is estimated to rise 1.6% (compared to a 2.8% increase in 2019), according to the Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan advocacy group for retirees. That increase adjusts to $23 a month, for the average retirement beneficiary. The drop in COLA isn’t the only concerning fact — the two funds that support the program are predicted to be depleted within 16 years.

The Number: 80%. A new study found that if Congress doesn’t act, Social Security beneficiaries will only receive 80% of the checks they’re owed in 2035.

The Quote: “Social Security benefits have already lost one-third of buying power since 2000.”

Health insurance costs reach new highs

Businesses and their employees are spending $20,000 per family on health premiums. The average worker contributes 25% of the costs (around $6,000) for a family plan, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual report on employer coverage.

The Number: $20,000. The cost of family health coverage in the U.S.

The Quote: “It’s as much as buying a basic economy car,” said Drew Altman, chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation, “but buying it every year.”

Small businesses take note: Make sure your website is accessible

While web accessibility may not be the first thing you think about when you’re designing your company’s website, it’s important to make sure it’s designed in a way where people with disabilities are able to use it. According to Entrepreneur, “Domino’s Pizza learned this the hard way when it lost in court to a blind plaintiff who had difficulty ordering pizza because the website wasn’t compatible with standard screen reading software.”

The Number: 2,285. The number of lawsuits related to ADA web accessibility in 2018.

The Quote: “By making your site accessible to all potential users, you won’t only avoid lawsuits, you will enable your brand to reach a wider customer base.”

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