For Immediate Release
June 11, 2012
Most Single Employers & Corporations Are Likely to Provide Health Coverage in 2014
Nearly Half are Implementing Changes So Plans Comply with Legislation
Brookfield, Wisconsin —Though everyone is waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this month, 86 percent of single employers and corporations will or are likely to continue to provide health coverage to their employees in 2014, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans' Health Care Reform: 2012 Employer Actions Update survey.
“These employers recognize that offering health care coverage is an important benefit that helps retain current employees, attract future talent, and increase employee satisfaction,” said Michael Wilson, International Foundation CEO.
The research showed that only one percent of the respondents will definitely not provide coverage to all full-time employees in 2014. Among the 54 percent of employers that did not state that they will definitely continue to provide coverage to all full-time employees in 2014, the most likely cause for discontinuing coverage would be the cost of providing coverage becoming too expensive (45.1 percent).
In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on the ACA, the International Foundation surveyed 968 human resources, benefits professionals, and industry experts representing single employer plans or corporations in April. The survey included questions posed in the context of “what are you doing with your plan as a result of health care reform?” The participating organizations represent a wide base of U.S. employers from nearly 20 different industries, including insurance and related fields (21.9 percent), manufacturing and distribution (15.2 percent) and health care and medicine (9.9 percent). Surveyed employers range in size from fewer than 50 employees to more than 20,000.
Nearly two in five employers (39.1 percent) are beginning to develop tactics to deal with the implications of reform, while 31.3 percent said they are taking a “wait and see” approach. Among those organizations in a “wait and see” phase, 80.7 percent are awaiting the Supreme Court decision, 62.4 percent are awaiting more regulatory guidance and 52.1 percent are awaiting the outcome of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
“While some 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.”
Nearly half of all employers (47.2 percent) have conducted an analysis to determine how health care reform legislation will impact their health care plan costs. In fact, a majority (69.6 percent) expect the legislation will increase their costs in 2012.
“Employers are redesigning their health plans to remain in compliance and to curb anticipated costs,” said Julie Stich, the International Foundation’s Director of Research. “The research told us that increasing participants’ share of premium costs is the most common technique, followed by increasing in-network deductibles and out-of-pocket limits.”
This is the third survey of a series of in-depth studies on the way in which single employers with health care plans are responding to the challenges and opportunities presented by the health care reform legislation. The first survey, conducted in May 2010, emphasized employers’ immediate considerations and approaches for complying with the new law. Deployed approximately one year later, the second survey focused on the actions employers were taking in 2011.
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.