Poll: Some Employers Plan To Increase Workforce as ACA Rolls Out
Although some U.S. employers plan to reduce the size of their staff while the Affordable Care Act is implemented, more businesses say they actually will increase the size of their workforces, according to a recent poll commissioned by the Transamerica Center for Health Studies, Modern Healthcare's "Vital Signs" reports.
For the poll, Harris surveyed 303 employers between March 26 and April 7. The poll surveyed the employers on the effects of the ACA on staffing, health coverage and knowledge about the insurance options available under the law.
The poll found that 28% of employers expect to increase their staff sizes over the next two years, while 15% said they plan on reducing their workforces. Meanwhile, 58% of the companies reported that they do not plan to make staffing changes.
In addition, the survey found that while 23% of respondents said they were considering cutting staff or full-times workers, answers varied depending on company size. For example:
- 33% of companies with at least 100 full-time employees said they were considering cutting staff;
- 21% of companies with 50 to 99 full-time workers said they were looking into such reductions; and
- 10% of companies with up to 49 full-time staff members said they were making such considerations.
Meanwhile, 69% of the respondents reported being "very informed" about the ACA, up from 37% in a similar poll taken last year. Still, the survey showed that:
- 41% of small companies said they were not aware of the Small Business Health Options Program; and
- 32% of respondents said they had not taken any steps to prepare for the ACA's implementation.
According to the survey, the companies also varied on whether they were going to reduce benefits as the ACA takes effect. The poll found that:
- 15% of the companies were looking into the cost of paying penalties under the law's employer mandate vs. the cost of providing employee health benefits;
- 10% said they would be cutting benefits for employees' dependents; and
- 9% said they would be adding coverage for employees' dependents (Robeznieks, "Vital Signs," Modern Healthcare, 5/13).