The number of Colorado businesses offering health insurance to their employees reached a 7-year low last year.
More than 20 thousand employees were dropped from company insurance plans in 2003. Forty-four thousand employees were dropped a year before.
Businesses that employ between 50 and 100 people are the hardest hit.
Nearly 60 percent of the state's small businesses saw insurance rates increase by 20 percent or more in 2003. Some businesses saw increases as much as 50 percent.