June 5, 2012
U.S. Companies Think ACA Will Be Partially Overturned
Employers and Employees Agree on Provisions to Remain in the Act: Coverage for Adult Children Until Age 26 and Elimination of Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions
Brookfield, Wisconsin —American employers believe that the Supreme Court will overturn the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but will allow different provisions to remain in the law, according the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ Supreme Court Affordable Care Act survey. View Survey Results [PDF]
In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the ACA, the International Foundation surveyed plan administrators, trustees and organizational representatives from single-employers/corporations, multiemployer trust funds and public/governmental employers in early May and received 1,027 responses. The respondents represent a comprehensive range of organizations with respect to size and region, providing a wide ranging look into how American employers view the ACA.
While 66 percent of the respondents think the individual mandate will be struck down but other pieces of reform will be kept intact, the remaining one-third is split between those who think the entire law will remain intact (19 percent) and those who think the entire law will be thrown out (15 percent).
“While the Foundation recognizes that reaching a consensus on the Affordable Care Act among our membership would be difficult, it’s clear that our members agree that steps must be taken to address the access to quality, affordable health care in America,” said Michael Wilson, International Foundation CEO.
When asked which provisions of the law they would like to be reinstated through new legislation if the Supreme Court were to throw out the health care reform law, organizations and workers agreed on two of their respective top three choices: extending coverage of adult children to the age of 26 and requiring the elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions.
The top provisions of ACA that organizations would like to remain are:
- Ability to offer increased wellness incentives (33 percent).
- Required elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions (23 percent).
- Required coverage of adult children up to age 26 (22 percent).
The top provisions of ACA that representatives say workers would like to remain are:
- Required coverage of adult children up to age 26 (59 percent).
- Required elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions (34 percent).
- No cost sharing for preventive care (32 percent).
Members said they are monitoring the Supreme Court closely, but 45 percent are in a “wait and see” mode. Three in five organizations are following the Supreme Court decision extremely or very closely and fewer than two percent say they are not monitoring the case at all. Two types of organizations, those with fewer than 50 workers or more than 10,000 workers, are paying the closest attention to the Supreme Court decision.
“While many of our member organizations are in a wait-and-see mode, the Foundation has been providing them with guidance since the Affordable Care Act was passed two years ago to assist in preparing them for implementation,” said Wilson. “No matter the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision, we are prepared to educate our members and provide guidance.”
Many organizations are noticing a slight increase in anxiety among workers due to the ACA and the Supreme Court decision. More than two in five representatives believe the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court hearings are increasing their workers’ anxiety, while close to half have not noticed changes in workers’ anxiety. Smaller organizations are more likely to say their workers are experiencing anxiety regarding ACA and the Supreme Court decisions.
The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is a member-driven organization with five decades of experience as a leading objective source of employee benefits, compensation and financial literacy education and information within the American and Canadian workplace. The Foundation’s expertise is industry wide; and it offers resources that include Foundation staff, training, conferences and research on topics critical to assisting its 35,000 multiemployer, corporate and public sector members respond to trends affecting the well-being of more than 25 million lives in North America. For additional information, visit www.ifebp.org.