Benefits

Most Employers Not Well Prepared for ACA Provisions

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | August 16, 2012
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August 16, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Most employers say their company is not well prepared to implement the 2014 provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Only four in ten mid-size and larger firms indicated they feel “well prepared” to implement provisions of the ACA, whereas only one-fourth of the smallest firms feel this way, according to Deloitte’s 2012 survey of U.S. employers with 50 or more employees.   

Employers believe that they have a “good” understanding of the Affordable Care Act; HR professionals more so than C-suite executives. Familiarity with the individual mandate is the highest (72%) reported. Employer penalties for not offering benefits (66%), essential benefits (53%) and health insurance exchanges (45%) were also familiar to many employers. By contrast, bundled payments, accountable care, etc. are not understood.  

Thirty percent of respondents view the ACA as “a good start,” 59% “a step in the wrong direction.” There was a wide range of opinions, from HR who responded more positively to C-suite respondents who took a more negative view.  

Most do not intend to drop health benefits coverage. Nine percent of companies (representing 3% of the workforce)anticipate dropping coverage in the next one to three years, versus 81% of companies (84% of the workforce) that plan to continue. Ten percent of companies (representing 13% of the workforce) are not sure. Employers cited prohibitive cost as the driver that may lead them to consider dropping coverage.