More employers than might be thought are well ahead in preparing to meet the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

That's according to a survey of HR managers conducted with the coming open enrollment season in mind. Wellness program consultant and provider Keas said its survey of more than 100 HR professionals found that three-quarters of them had taken steps to meet the law's original Jan. 1, 2014 deadline. Another 58 percent were confident they would still be fully compliant with the act by January, despite the Obama administration decision to delay implementation of the employer mandate until January 2015.

Offering a less optimistic view on the question, Aflac on Wednesday released results of a much larger, but professionally broader, study that found that just 9 percent of respondents felt their employers were "very prepared" to meet the law's requirements. Seven of 10 workers interviewed for the Aflac study said a very basic requirement of the PPACA — that employers communicate benefits package options to workers by Oct. 1 — had yet to happen.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.