From the October 2010 issue of Benefits Selling Magazine • Subscribe!

Can you really keep your health coverage?

President Obama might not be able to keep his promise. If predictions from Hewitt Associates' latest employer survey come true, hardly anyone will be able to keep their current health coverage. According to Hewitt's survey of 466 companies -- representing 6.9 million employees -- most companies expect to lose grandfather status because of health plan design changes (72 percent) and/or changes to company subsidy levels (39 percent). Employers also cited consolidation of health plans (16 percent), changes to insurance carriers (16 percent) and union negotiations (15 percent) as additional reasons. More than three-quarters of companies (77 percent) said that recently released guidance on preventive care did not impact their decision to maintain grandfathered status.

Hewitt's survey found that of those companies with self-insured plans, most (51 percent) expect to first lose grandfather status in 2011 and another 21 percent plan to lose status in 2012. This timing is similar for companies with fully insured medical plans, with the vast majority expecting to lose status in 2011 (46 percent) or 2012 (18 percent).

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