According to the latest employer member survey conducted by the nonprofit Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH), responding employers have found employees are most concerned about the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on their benefits (64%), whether their out of pocket costs will go up (63%) and knowledge about the exchanges (53%). “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. Most employer efforts are focused in these areas for the upcoming rollouts this fall,” said Larry Boress, MBGH president and CEO.
Key areas of focus for employers moving forward in complying with the PPACA are the education of employees about the PPACA (71%), benefit design options to reduce exposure to excise tax (59%) and incentives for wellness provisions (49%). Nearly 70% of employers are developing their own PPACA messaging, with few relying solely on their health plan. The types of information being communicated include open enrollment options, an overview of the PPACA and its impact on benefit programs.
About 90% of self-funded employers indicated they do not plan to move any of their covered population to either public marketplaces or private exchanges in the immediate future. During this time, employers will review what peer businesses are doing and the success and viability of the exchanges.
Over the next four years, employers indicated they will offer more high deductible health plans and decrease the number of health maintenance organizations, point of service plans and preferred provider organization options. There is uncertainty about the number of employers planning to offer only high deductible health plans.
More than 70% of responding employers indicated they will not increase salaries for employees who obtain insurance coverage from the public marketplaces.
The online survey of employers’ views on health reform was conducted in June and July 2013. There were more than 40 respondents from a variety of industries representing self-insured and fully-insured employers. The respondents ranged in size from very large employers (54% with more than 10,000 employees), to large (12% with 5,001 to 10,000), to mid-size (31% with 5,000 to 501) and small (3% with less than 500).
More information about the survey is here.