I asked NewsDash readers, has the ACA affected the attractiveness of your health benefits to employees? And, have you enhanced other benefit offerings as a result?
More than 80% of respondents worked in a plan sponsor role, while about 3% each worked in an adviser/consultant, TPA/recordkeeper/investment manager or attorney role. We also had responses from a federal auditor, benefits representatives, and a paralegal.
More than one-quarter of respondents each were from firms with 51 to 100 employees and firms with 1,000 to 5,000 employees. Sixteen percent each were from firms with one to 50 employees, 501 to 1,000 employees, and more than 5,000 employees.
Fifty-five percent of responding readers indicated their companies have changed health benefits due to the ACA, and 45% said they haven’t. Thirteen percent reported they are planning to change health benefits in 2015 due to the ACA, 77% are not and the rest do not know.
More than half (51.6%) of respondents do not think employees find their companies’ health benefits less attractive since the ACA was implemented, while 45.2% do think employees find health benefits less attractive. The remaining respondents said they do not know.
When asked which enhancements to other benefits, if any, their companies made specifically in response to the effect of the ACA on health benefits, the vast majority (86.7%) reported none. However, 6.7% indicated they increased employer contributions to their retirement plans, and the same percentage added new voluntary benefits, such as commuter benefits, pet insurance, child care subsidy, etc. Slightly more than 3% said they added or enhanced vision or dental benefits, and “other” responses included offering a wider array of health plans from which to choose.
Among respondents who chose to leave comments, the sentiment about the ACA’s effect on benefits offerings was mostly negative. A couple of readers shared ideas or strategies. No Editor’s Choice this week.A big thank you to all who participated in our survey!
already had a bad healthcare plan with a huge deductible and 70/30 coverage so
ACA didn't affect us at all, except for changing the definition of part-time.
don't even get me started on the personal "Shared Responsibility"
crap! Still fuming...
though ACA hasn't affected our benefits yet, the Cadillac tax could have a huge
impact! We have 78% of our employees contributing to an HSA, and if the law
stays as it is, they will most likely be penalized and not allowed to
contribute the full amount. The IRS wants their money one way or another!
ACA has had limited impact on our benefits. Deductibles and out of pocket
maximums have gone up, but those were steadily increasing prior to ACA. We
added a 3rd medical option and refined, but did not substantially change, our
employer/employee cost sharing methodology. Overall, our employees are quite
satisfied with their health benefits.
result. Premiums went up and we had to increase the employee's portion of the
premium on all levels. They are not happy. The company simply does not have the
financial resources to absorb any more expenses.
had the most effect on benefits, not ACA.
to continually rising costs of healthcare premiums, our company has had to cut
other benefits including HSA contributions, dental benefits and retirement
contributions. In addition to higher premiums, employees have to face higher
deductibles, higher copays, and higher total out of pocket costs.
reduced health care coverage, increased out of pocket expenses for participant
due to avoidance of upcoming Cadillac tax.
have a rolling 3-year strategy with respect to our benefits offerings. The
strategy is built around our company's culture and strategies, keeping in mind
compliance with ACA. When we hire associates from other companies, they often
comment on the attractiveness of our benefits offerings. We want our plans to
be competitive but they don't have to be "best in class."
change to the flexible spending accounts, taking away coverage over the counter
drugs and supplies unfortunately makes it less attractive.
health benefits were previously considered to be a major advantage in
recruiting, retention and employee engagement. The ACA was a major factor in
eliminating that advantage.
could it not be more attractive? Preventive services are "free"
because there are no copays. Oh wait a minute - premiums increased. I wonder
make it so hard these days to exploit workers that I don't even know why we
different mandates increase the cost of health insurance, our only option is to
shift the risk and adjust cost sharing. Not a fun thing to do.
zero, nada - except for those who, as a result of too many newly eligible, will
now never work 1,000 hours.
requirement of generic maintenance drugs at 100% (i.e., birth control, etc.,)
and the inclusion of co-pays as part of max out-of-pocket improved the value of
our coverage to employees.
costs - due to the new regulations have increased not only our costs, but
participant costs. We have added new, limited-service providers in an attempt
to reduce employee costs. We hope Obama takes his plan with him when he leaves
- which can't be soon enough.
company has always been concerned for the cost to the employee. Offering wider
choice - metallic plans - and moving to a set subsidy at different wage bands
can be advantageous to the employees.
ACA appears to be driving up the cost of healthcare, as well as taxes for all. Net negative!
NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.