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Some analysts predict that a large number of employers will terminate their health plans in 2014 and simply pay the annual penalty of $2,000 per employee. After all, they argue, employers’ health plan costs will only continue to rise, and the fines will be relatively modest compared to what it will cost to continue providing coverage.

Additionally, there will be exchanges where insurers must accept everyone, so employers who terminate their plans will not be banishing their less-healthy employees to the ranks of the uninsured. All of this, they project, will make the prospect of getting out of the health insurance game irresistible to many employers. But despite rising costs, employers  should (and will) retain health care plans after 2013.

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