Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Employers: ACA will increase costs

Eighty-five percent of employers expect the Affordable Care Act to lead to an increase in per-employee benefits costs, according to research from Deloitte and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS). Not surprisingly, 63% of employers said that they are mainly focused on controlling total health care costs.

"Wait and see." Two-thirds of employers said they are not making any changes to their benefit plans at this point due to the ACA, which signals that employers are using a "wait and see" approach towards health reform, Deloitte/ISCEBS noted. Seventy-three percent of respondents indicated they expect to reevaluate their benefits packages over the next 12 months in light of health reform changes. However, only 9% of employers indicated that they plan to drop employer-sponsored coverage because of health reform.

Top priorities. While "health reform costs" remained the number one priority among employers for the second year in a row (and for six out of the last seven years), "the willingness of employees to take on greater cost sharing" moved into the number two spot for 2011, according to Deloitte/ISCEBS. Sixty-two percent of employers indicated that they have considered increasing cost-sharing for active employee plans over the past 12 months, while another 30% said that they will consider increasing employee cost sharing for active employee plans over the next 12 months.

The survey was conducted in January 2011 and was completed by 242 participants online.

For a comprehensive analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and additional information on health reform and other developments in employee benefits, just click here.


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