mercer released the results of a study exploring employers’ attitudes and concerns about upcoming health care reform changes. some of the highlights include:
- only 2% of the 894 participating employers say they’re “very likely” to drop medical insurance; 6% say they’re “likely to do so.”
- employers expect that compliance with 2014 changes will drive up their costs by 2%-5%; 15% of employers say their plan’s already in compliance.
- employers’ biggest concern remains the excise or “cadillac tax” for richer benefits plans; in response to this concern, 92% of employers are likely to rely on programs that’ll “encourage more health-conscious behavior” as part of their long-term cost-management strategy.
- employers are also considering alternative approaches to cost containment: carve-outs of voluntary benefits, reduction in dependents’ coverage and migration to a defined contribution plan; retailers will transform their staffing arrangements to have fewer employers working the 30 hours that stipulate mandatory health coverage.
as employers weigh these alternatives and set their strategy, communications and employee involvement will play a key role in their ultimate effectiveness. so too will an employer’s readiness to involve themselves in community and public health discussions—particularly if they want to gain traction when it comes to health-consciousness. most of our decisions about what we eat and whether we exercise happen outside of work and are influenced by design and policy.
read mercer’s press release.