Despite a few well-publicized cases of employers dropping coverage, insurance policy cancellations or even the roaring debate over what President Obama did or did not promise, it’s unlikely the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will force or prompt very many large employers to end their insurance coverage and dump workers onto exchanges.
That is the dispassionate assessment offered by nonpartisan policy wonks, academics, government watchdogs, surveys of employers and others without a stake in the game.
“Five years from now we are going have a functioning health insurance exchange system,” predicted Helen Levy, a research associate professor with the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, Ford School of Public Policy and School of Public Health. “I think it is going to be a valuable option for people and I think we are going to say, ‘I can't believe it was ever not this way.’”
But that’s all it will be, she said, one of several options people will be able to turn to obtain health insurance.
And then there’s the report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which found that in Massachusetts, where the model for the federal plan took effect seven years ago, employer-sponsored coverage has actually increased.
“The number of people covered by insurance through the workplace increased by about 1 percentage point, running counter to the rest of the nation, which saw employer-based insurance decline by 5.7 percentage points,” according to the report.