Employers Anticipate More Scheduling Flexibility If ACA is Repealed

Only 4% say they will drop health insurance coverage for some full-time employees if the employer mandate is repealed.

Respondents to the Littler, Mendelson 2017 Annual Employer Survey identified a range of issues employees believe will represent the Trump administration’s priorities in 2017, with the vast majority anticipating a focus on reforming health care and employee benefits law (89%).

When asked what changes employers anticipate within their organization if the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA)’s employer mandate is repealed, 28% of respondents say it will have no impact because they did not offer coverage to additional employees as a result of the ACA. Twenty percent report they will modify eligibility requirements, and 18% say they will allow more employees to work more than 30 hours per week given that it will no longer trigger a requirement to offer health insurance.

Seventeen percent indicate they will increase premiums or cost sharing, 27% don’t know what impact the repeal of the employer mandate will have, and 4% say they will drop health insurance coverage for some full-time employees.

Even though responses to the survey were collected before Republicans withdrew the American Health Care Act in late March, employers were already feeling a great deal of uncertainty regarding the impact of repealing the ACA’s employer mandate. More than one-quarter (28%) indicated that they did not anticipate an impact at all, and another 27% said they did not know what the impact would be.

Fewer than half (43%) of respondents said they wanted to see the ACA repealed or revised.

“The responses indicate that employers are committed to providing health insurance for their full-time employees,” says Steven Friedman, co-chair of Littler’s Employee Benefits Practice. “However, they also suggest that a repeal of the mandate would give employers more flexibility to set work schedules based on the needs of their businesses, without fear of triggering a requirement to provide health insurance.”

A report summarizes and analyzes the results of Littler Mendelson’s sixth annual survey of the legal, technological and social issues having the greatest impact on the workplace. It is based on survey responses from 1,229 in-house counsel, human resources professionals and C-suite executives from a range of industries. It is available here.