Below are major survey findings concerning the financial impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on single employer plans. Completed responses were received from 728 individuals representing single employer plans (including corporations). The vast majority (676 or 92.9%) of those respondents represented employers currently offering health care benefits to employees who work more than 30 hours per week. Attention is given to the cost impact of ACA, the costliest ACA requirements in 2013 and beyond, and employer plans for dealing with increased costs.
- More than two-thirds of employers currently providing health benefits (69%) have analyzed how ACA will affect their health care plan costs. Larger employers are more likely to have conducted an analysis.
- About one in seven (14%) organizations with knowledge of their cost trends reports no change or a decrease in costs for 2013 due to ACA. Very few medium and large employers with knowledge of their cost trends are experiencing cost increases beyond 5%, but a considerable portion of smaller employers are experiencing 2013 cost increases beyond 15% due to ACA.
- The top three ACA provisions identified as impacting 2013 health benefit costs are the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee (38%), general ACA administrative costs (35%) and explaining ACA provisions to participants (28%).
- Future provisions that will most increase costs were identified as the 2014 transitional reinsurance fee (18%) and providing health insurance to individuals who previously were not offered coverage in order to comply with coverage requirements (13%).
- The most common ways employers plan to deal with increased costs due to ACA are shifting costs to employees (53%) and encouraging participant health by increasing wellness and value-based health care initiatives (36%).