Members of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans see employers paying more attention to the effects of the Affordable Care Act, but, at this point, few see the act causing employers to eliminate health benefits.
The Brookfield, Wis., foundation has published figures supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from a recent survey of 1,350 benefits managers, human resources managers and other managers who are members of the foundation or of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS).
The survey participants are not representative of benefits watchers at all U.S. employers. They tend to be at employers that are somewhat larger and somehat more interested in benefits than average.
Only 0.8% of the survey participants’ employers are getting ready to drop health coverage because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, and just 0.9% are preparing to shut new hires out of health coverage because of PPACA.
About 1.6% intend to drop dependent coverage because of PPACA, the foundation says.
Many PPACA provisions are set to take effect in 2014; 0.7% of the survey participants said their employers intend to drop health coverage in 2014.
Some PPACA critics have objected to the cost of a PPACA provision that requires employer that offer dependent coverage to extend access to dependent coverage to adult children up to age 26.
The benefit plan foundation says 60% of its members’ employers are going a step further than PPACA requires and extending the access eligibility age to 26 for other benefit plans, such as dental plans and vision plans, as well as for medical plans.
Survey participants estimate PPACA will increase their plans’ costs by an average of 1% to 2% this year.