Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Benefits decision makers doubt their ability to comply with key upcoming ACA regulations

Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, an ADP Research Institute survey offers an interesting look at what human resources and benefits decision makers are feeling about their confidence in their ability to comply with health reform provisions.

According to the ADP Research Institute survey, a significant number of HR and benefits decision makers at U.S. companies of all sizes expressed a lack of confidence that their organizations clearly understand their new responsibilities under the requirements of the ACA. The study also found that preparedness for key upcoming ACA regulations varies greatly across different sized companies.

Largest firms most confident. The ADP survey of more than 800 HR and benefits decision makers in U.S. organizations of all sizes found that decision makers at small businesses (1-49 employees) were the most vocal in confirming their belief that the U.S. health care landscape is undergoing profound change (64 percent). However, 52 percent of their counterparts at midsized (50-999 employees) and large (1000+ employees) organizations hold the same view.

“The ADP Research Institute’s recent survey clearly shows that confusion and lack of preparedness surrounding ACA provisions is a widespread issue for U.S. companies of every size, although small and midsized companies seem particularly challenged,” said Jan Siegmund, Chief Strategy Officer of ADP. “For example, our study shows that half or more of small and midsized companies are unprepared to meet the newly-required summary of benefits and coverage required by the ACA.”

Findings on specific ACA provisions. According to the ADP Research Institute survey, just 40 percent of respondents from large organizations are very confident about their understanding of employer requirements under the ACA, while even fewer respondents in small companies (20 percent) and midsized companies (17 percent) expressed that same level of confidence. Moreover, a majority of human resources and benefits decision makers at small and midsized companies (67 percent and 62 percent respectively) indicated they are unaware of the upcoming employee notification requirement about public exchanges. Thirty-two percent of survey respondents from large organizations indicated a similar lack of awareness.

In terms of being ready to provide the newly required summary of benefits and coverage, 66 percent of large companies, 50 percent of midsized companies and just 31 percent of small businesses say they are prepared.


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