Surveys Show Few Employers Plan To Drop Workers’ Health Benefits
Two surveys released Wednesday found that fewer employers are planning to stop offering health coverage for workers than some critics of the Affordable Care Act had predicted, the Washington Post reports.
Employee Benefit Research Institute Survey
A survey of more than 3,000 companies conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management found that 1% of employers said they will no longer offer health benefits next year, with little difference among businesses of different sizes.
The survey also found that one in 12 companies plan to stop offering health coverage for employees' spouses next year, while one out of 76 employers expect to drop coverage for part-time workers in 2015.
In addition, researchers found that large employers were more likely than smaller employers to restrict spousal coverage or increase workers' share of coverage costs. However, the survey found that less than 10% of companies with 50 or more employees were making such coverage changes (Goldstein, Washington Post, 11/19).
A separate Mercer survey of about 2,500 employers found that 4% of large employers and 16% of employers with 50 to 199 employees expect to drop health coverage in the next five years (Mercer survey, 11/19). According to the Post, those percentages are lower than Mercer's 2013 survey findings.
In addition, the new survey found that the average employee cost for health benefits in 2014 is about $11,000 and that 2015 health plans costs are expected to increase by an average of 4.6%. According to the researchers, the projected average rate increase is more than last year, although it is below the average 7% annual increase of the past 15 years (Washington Post, 11/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.