While healthcare costs associated with the changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are high on the list of concerns for employers, many underestimate the true cost of compliance, according to a recent study by Willis Group Holdings.
The insurance brokerage firm surveyed more than 1,200 employers and found most hope to avoid expense increases to their healthcare offerings, but more than half have not yet determined the cost of complying with reform.
The majority of survey respondents estimated healthcare reform has not impacted the cost of their benefits plan offerings. However, among the employers who calculated or are in the process of calculating costs, 61 percent report expense increases, with 17 percent stating costs have gone up more than 5 percent.
When asked whether employers will implement changes to their healthcare offerings or face penalty fees – a choice between “pay or play,” Willis states – the majority of employers intend to “play.”
“Employers continue to recognize the value of providing medical benefits, how important those benefits are to their employees, and that providing benefits allows them to attract and retain the employees they need,” said Willis’ Jay Kirschbaum, as quoted by Workforce. “Therefore, they generally plan to continue offering competitive medical benefits.”