Forecast predicts a third of companies will cut health benefits

Group Health InsuranceA new study from prestigious consulting firm McKinsey & Company suggests that as much as 30% of the nation’s employers will be making drastic changes to the insurance they provide to their employees.

The firm suggests that the more these companies learn about upcoming insurance changes stemming from last year’s Affordable Care Act the more likely they are to make such changes. The study anticipates that these businesses will cease offering health care benefits or restrict access to such benefits to a select few in their service. If the study holds true, the amount of people without health insurance will far outstrip Congress’ expectations.

The study directly contradicts three other reports that say the reform will have little to no effect on how employers offer insurance benefits. Several officials from the Obama administration denounce the McKinsey & Company report as being inaccurate or otherwise misinformed.

“History dictates that reform motivates more businesses to offer insurance,” says an administration health care expert. Furthermore, the administration insists that health insurance exchanges will help employers procure more affordable coverage for their employees.

The insurance landscape is being changed dramatically regardless of studies. New regulations introduced in the Affordable Care Act are slated to take effect this year as well as next, restricting the way insurers do business to some sectors while expounding their freedoms in others. The breadth of the health care law will not be fully realized until 2014, but states are already making moves to accomidate new federal requirements. Several large companies have already started cutting the health care benefits they provide, citing the coming exchanges as justification.

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