Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Is This What Was Intended By Health Care Reform -- Employers to Drop Coverage

Business Insurance recently co-sponsored a survey with the National Business Coalition on Health on employer-provided health care benefits. I found the results astounding.

22% of all employers and 14% of large employers said that it is either likely or very likely that they will drop employee health care coverage when the insurance exchanges become effective in 2014. 

11% of large employers expect their costs to increase by 1% or less. 42% expect increases in the range of 2% to 5% and 16% expect increases in the range of 6% to 10%.

We now pause for a brief editorial comment: Increasing the cost of employing an employee is not a good way to spur the economy and to promote hiring.

Now I feel better.

The survey did not bring all bad news for Health Care Reform. Slightly more than one-half of employers surveyed back the provision that all preventive services be fully covered.

Changes to flexible spending accounts (FSA) were not viewed positively, however. Nearly 3/4 would like the provision that disallows FSA reimbursements for over-the-counter medications to be repealed. Nearly 2/3 would like the $2500 per employee cap on employee FSA contributions repealed.

I wish I had cross-tabs of the data, but given that the profitability of this blog is currently non-existent, I am not inclined to spend $100 to get the full report. That having been said, it's clear to me that Health Care Reform is providing its fair share of angst for corporate HR and Finance types. As I have said before, we needed Health Care Reform, and we got it. The problem is that we still need Health Care Reform, just a new version. What we got was essentially conceived by a few people, and voted on with no meaningful discussion or debate. 

But, it is with us now, unless the law is changed or repealed. And so it goes ...

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