Despite impending changes under the nation’s new health care reform rules, many employers don’t plan on ceasing to offer group health care coverage to employees.
So says a recent survey from the consulting firm Mercer.
The survey polled more than 2,800 employers and found that the majority of participants said it was “not likely” they would stop offering health insurance when state-run insurance exchanges become operation in 2014 under the new reform rules, according to Mercer. Under the new rules, employers are being encouraged to continue offering coverage, but, come 2014, they could pay a penalty if they do not. The penalty may end up being less than what they currently spend on benefits.
What do these findings mean?
“After all, all businesses should consider providing group health insurance. It is a good incentive that will attract and retain high-quality workers,” said Thomas Kaspar of Grouphealthflorida.com. “It can add peace of mind, while providing group purchasing power that can save individuals a large amount of money in the event of an unforeseen accident or illness. Studies repeatedly show that it is among the top factors for workers considering potential employers.”
According to Mercer, the responses had variations when it came to the size of employer. Six percent of employers with 500 or more employees said they will likely terminate health plans and have employees seek coverage in the individual market after 2014, while 3 percent of employers with 10,000 or more employees provided the same response, according to Mercer.
But the results were less dramatic with the smallest employers. Some 20 percent of employers with 10 to 499 employees said they would likely terminate their health plans.
Here’s what Mercer said about the findings in a news release: “Employers are reluctant to lose control over a key employee benefit,” said Tracy Watts, a Partner in Mercer’s Washington, DC, office. “But beyond that, once you consider the penalty, the loss of tax savings and grossing up employee income so they can purchase comparable coverage through an exchange, for many employers dropping coverage may not equate to savings.”
To learn more visit: http://www.grouphealthflorida.com