A new study from Deloitte Health Services that surveyed 560 US businesses estimates that 9% of businesses currently offering health insurance to their employees plan to stop providing the benefit within three years of when the individual and employer mandates of the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare) take effect in 2014. Eighty-one percent plan to keep providing coverage and 10% are not sure. While the study was active prior to the Supreme Court ruling affirming the individual mandate portion of the bill, the authors of the study do not anticipate large changes due to the ruling.
The study also found that small companies, 50-100 employees, were more likely to end health insurance for employees, with 13% of this group leaning toward ending health benefits within three years, compared to just 2% of companies with more than 1000 employees. Additional research on this topic presents widely differing conclusions, but the Congressional Budget Office estimated the number of employees that will lose insurance coverage from their employers at 3-5 million by 2022, which would seem to affirm Deloitte’s conclusions.
VGM Club Government Relations will continue to monitor the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate provision and provide updates to Club members.