Despite reports that employers will be making cuts to the health care benefits they offer to workers as the Affordable Care Act becomes fully established in 2014, Mercer, an acclaimed consulting firm based in New York, says that quite the opposite will happen. According to Mercer, enrollment in health insurance plans offered by employers is increasing. The consulting firm surveyed a wealth of companies throughout the nation and found that the vast majority of them were bent on continuing to provide their workers with health care benefits.
According to Mercer’s survey, only 2% of the companies surveyed said that they were “very likely” to discontinue their offering of health benefits. Instead, these companies would direct employees to state-run health insurance exchanges. This number reflects last year’s results in another of Mercer’s surveys, showing that the mindset of employers has remained unchanged even as the nation’s policymakers fervently claim otherwise.
Of course, small companies responded differently than their larger counterparts. Mercer notes that companies with at least 200 employees are likely to continue providing health benefits. Those with few employees, however, may seek alternatives, but are still unwilling to simply stop offering benefits.
There can be no doubt that the Affordable Care Act will bring about many changes as its provisions continue to be enacted. The overall impact of these changes may be somewhat exaggerated, however, as Mercer’s survey would suggest.