Employers Would Follow Their Peers on Offering Health Benefits

January 5, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – HighRoads’ November “Pulse Survey” revealed most employers (80%) do not intend to drop healthcare coverage in 2014, when healthcare exchanges are made available under the healthcare reform law.

However, nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they would drop coverage if the majority of the companies in their industry eliminated their benefits programs. Conversely, 84% reported they would not consider removing coverage if only a few in their industry no longer offered coverage.   

Nearly all of the respondents (91%) in the study also stated they would not consider eliminating some benefits coverage currently offered based on the complexity of the new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) requirements. Employers said they are already committed to their healthcare strategy.   

Of those that indicated they would consider removing some current healthcare coverage (9%), the majority (75%) said increased regulation would be the main driving factor, while the remaining (25%) cited increased healthcare costs.   

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they are prepared to produce SBCs by the original March 2012 deadline.   

The HighRoads Pulse Study was conducted in November 2011 and included a sampling of respondents from the healthcare, hospital, transportation, education, food and beverage, and energy and utility industries, with most of the respondents employed at hospitals or healthcare systems.