Ninety percent of the 40 respondents reported that employees wondered how the Affordable Care Act would affect their benefits, and what’s telling is that the online survey was conducted as far back as June and July.
The findings suggest many self-insured employers in particular that “didn’t think they needed to pay much attention to health insurance exchanges” because they already offer coverage must expand employee education, according to Larry Boress, president and CEO of the MBGH, which has more than 120 members. “There are key questions employees have that need to be addressed now, such as the status of their current benefits and their eligibility to obtain tax credits and subsidies through the new marketplaces.”
Other survey highlights found that:
About 90% of self-funded employers say they will not steer their covered lives into either public or private exchanges in the near future – instead, choosing to study the HIX model further before making any moves.
Nearly 70% of respondents are developing their own ACA messaging on open-enrollment options, as well as an overview of health care reform and its impact on benefit programs. Few of them indicated that they are relying solely on their health plan for employee communications in this area.
Employees of MBGH members are most concerned about the impact of the ACA on their benefits (64%) and higher out-of-pocket costs (63%), but they also are eager for information about the exchanges (53%).
Key areas of focus for ACA compliance include educating employees about the law (71%), benefit designs that will reduce exposure to excise taxes (59%) and wellness plan incentives (49%).
More than 70% of respondents say they will not increase salaries for employees who obtain insurance coverage from public exchanges.
More high deductible health plans and fewer managed care plan options, including point-of-service plans, are expected among MBGH members during the next four years, though there’s uncertainty about the number of employers planning to offer only HDHPs.
The survey included responses from a variety of industries, as well as both self-insured and fully insured plan sponsors with anywhere from less than 500 employees to (3%) to more than 10,000 employees (54%). The MBGH, which represents large self-insured public and private employers, is a founding member of the National Business Coalition on Health.
If you have questions on the Affordable Care Act please contact Bret Harding (Certified Healthcare Reform Specialist) CHRS. Ph. 801-372-2647.