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Despite ACA Alternatives, Employers Prefer to Offer Health Care Coverage

02/18/16

  06:43:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 232 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform

Despite ACA Alternatives, Employers Prefer to Offer Health Care Coverage

businesswoman

The introduction of state and federal insurance marketplaces through the Affordable Care Act has not deterred most U.S. employers from offering group health care coverage, Healthcare Dive reports.

According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, employers today still provide health care coverage to 147 million people, over half of the working-age population – virtually unchanged from 2015. A handful of smaller employers (4%) have switched some full-time employees to part-time status, but even more (10%) have done the opposite.

“Employers are very hesitant to drop health benefits,” said Paul Fronstin, director of the health research and education program at the Employee Benefits Research Institute. “They don’t want to be the employer that did so in a tight labor market.”

Large employers – those with 50 or more employees – must, under ACA rules, offer health insurance to 70% of full-time employees or pay a penalty. But that fact notwithstanding, employers cite other reasons for continuing to provide coverage, including the slow growth in health care costs during the past few years and concerns about provider availability through the public marketplaces.

Offering a customized health care plan also allows employers to promote wellness and ensure that employees have access to necessary benefits, said Fronstin: “They want them to come to work healthy and to be productive, and they may have their doubts about the public exchanges’ ability to give the kind of care that they think their employees need to get.”

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