Employers Warm To Obamacare, Stick With Coverage
Five years after employers were considering terminating health coverage due to costs and other issues related to the Affordable Care Act, companies have largely changed their tune as fears have not been realized, according to a new analysis.
Just three percent of employers are now likely to terminate health plans for active employees, according to Mercer, one of the largest employee benefits consultancies and a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan.
“The percentage of large employers that say they are likely to terminate coverage and send employees to the public exchange has fallen each year since the ACA was signed into law – from 9% in 2010 to just 3% in 2015
,” Beth Umland, Mercer’s director of research for health and benefits, told Forbes.
“Given that the penalty for not offering coverage under the ACA is far lower than the average per employee cost of health coverage – which hit $11,641 in 2014 – it’s not surprising that nearly one out of 10 employers saw terminating their health plans as a likely option back in 2010,” Umland added. “But in fact, virtually no large employers have jumped ship so far, and today few are even considering it.
Mercer’s survey of employers comes less than three months after employers with 100 or more workers in January were required by the Affordable Care Act to offer 70% of their full-time workers coverage
. In 2016, employers with 50 or more full-time workers have to start offering coverage.
Employers see offering health benefits as important to keeping the best workers. “Few employers want to risk being the first of their competitors or in their markets to drop health benefits
, especially in an improving economy,” Umland said.