/FROM PR NEWSWIRE
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TO BUSINESS, HEALTH, AND MEDICAL EDITORS:
Financial Impact of Health Reform on Employer Benefits Not as
Significant as Anticipated
employer fears, the financial impact of the provisions in the
Affordable Care Act (ACA) have not been as significant as anticipated
for most businesses and fewer U.S. employers responded that they plan
to drop coverage due to the law's mandate than was reported in 2010.
These are some of the key findings from a new 2012 employer survey
conducted by the
co-sponsored by the
Many survey respondents indicated support for the ACA provisions that
enable changes in provider payment, medical care coordination and
providing medical cost and quality information for consumers. The
survey also revealed divergent views among employers on whether the
entire Act. This is the third national survey in a series conducted by
MBGH since 2010 to gain an understanding of areas of most concern to
employers related to health reform, and to help educate and inform
purchasers and policymakers.
"While employers uniformly expressed concern with the administrative
costs and reporting burdens in the law, there was surprising support
for many of the coverage and system reform provisions," said Larry
Boress, MBGH president and CEO. "It's clear that what some call
'Obamacare' is actually a compilation of insurance, health system and
coverage reforms that are perceived by many employers as having some
good, as well as having some costly, impacts. In addition, as
employers have evaluated their options, the vast majority have
determined there is value in continuing to offer health coverage in
order to retain and recruit talent, as well as to ensure a productive
workforce. Small employers fear the potential financial impact of
future ACA changes, while larger organizations see the potential of
improved cost and quality improvements as enabled through many of the
requirements of the ACA."
Key survey findings
— In contrast to what employers indicated in the 2010 survey, many of
this year's respondents found complying with the ACA provisions cost
them less than anticipated.
— While large employers found the cost impact of the ACA in 2011,
including extending coverage to adult children up to age 26, was less
than 2%, most small- and mid-sized employers responded that their
increases were up to 5%.
— Only 6% of all employers said they were likely to pay the penalty
fee and drop health benefits coverage for employees in order to save
money. This is down by more than half from the 2010 survey results.
— Less than 30% of employers that are likely to drop coverage will
raise salaries to enable individuals to buy health coverage on their
— Many small employers anticipate increases in their health benefit
costs over 10% in the future due to the ACA.
— Of employers offering retiree benefits, 57% said they are likely to
continue to offer these benefits.
— Employers, particularly larger ones, expect the
uphold the ACA but strike down the individual mandate. Of all
employers, 42% hope the ACA is struck down in its entirety.
— Employers favor repeal of the following ACA provisions: the excise
tax on high cost plans; capping flexible savings account (FSA)
contributions; prohibiting using FSA amounts for over the counter
drugs with prescriptions; and reporting cash value of benefits on W-2
— Employers favor retaining the following ACA provisions: removal of
co-pays for preventive care; mandating coverage of preventive
services; creation of Health Insurance Exchanges; elimination of
annual and lifetime limits on essential benefits; and extending
coverage to adult children.
— Employers are split on the value of some provisions, including
requiring employers who drop coverage to offer vouchers to help people
buy insurance; imposing penalties on employers who do not provide
health benefits; mandating individuals obtain health insurance; and
defining minimum essential benefits.
"Employers appear to be warming up to the potential value of ACA
provisions on prevention and wellness incentives, provider payment
reform, medical homes, ACOs, and cost and quality transparency even
while expressing continued frustration with the law's slow pace
towards cost containment," said
"And while employers seem to have less of an appetite for dropping
coverage than noted in previous surveys, alternatives like defined
contribution strategies are beginning to be considered and bear close
monitoring in the years ahead."
Survey details The online survey was conducted from February to March
2012 on the intentions and perspectives of employers concerning the
Accountable Care Act. There were approximately 440 respondents from 34
states; 58% representing employers with more than 500 employees and
25% representing employers with 50-500 employees. Survey partners also
and can be ordered by contacting MBGH at email@example.com.
are part of
owned business publishers in the U.S., offering publications and
related Web sites in
Insurance and Workforce Management offer vital news and information to
industry leaders and consumers worldwide. http://www.crain.com
years of advancing value in health benefits management, the non-profit
business groups of private and public employers. MBGH's more than 100
members represent over 3 million lives, spending more than
on health care benefits annually. http://www.mbgh.org
non-profit, membership organization of 56 purchaser-led business and
health coalitions, representing over 7,000 employers and 25 million
employees and their dependents across
members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care
services through the collective action of public and private
Note to editors: The full survey findings are available to accredited
media upon request.
/Web Site: http://www.nbch.org
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|Copyright:||(c) 2012 The Associated Press|