The employer mandate provision within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires certain employers to provide insurance benefits to their full-time workers, and a recent report from the think tank Urban Institute questions whether this provision is actually needed.
The Urban Institute study “Why Not Just Eliminate the Employer Mandate?” analyzed how dropping the employer mandate from the healthcare reform law would impact employers and their workers. It determined that only 200,000 people would receive health insurance benefits from their employers under the provision, while healthcare costs continue to increase. The study also found low-wage employees could financially benefit from receiving healthcare coverage through the federal or state exchanges. According to the study, this is because they can receive subsidized coverage, which keeps it affordable for them, while under employer-sponsored coverage they may end up paying more through higher cost contributions.
However, by doing away with provision, the study determined the federal government would lose $4 billion in revenue from penalty payments, and even more when subsidies and the like are taken into account.
The study ultimately found that there are pros and cons to the employer mandate.