According to an International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans survey, most employers expect to continue providing full-time workers with health insurance benefits after the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.
Beginning in 2014, businesses with at least 50 workers must provide affordable coverage to their employees or pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee. The provision is the main reason companies expect their costs to rise and could prompt some to discontinue employee health benefits or lead their workers to obtain their own coverage through the ACA’s health insurance exchanges.
However, the survey found that just 0.5% of companies plan to discontinue health benefits to full-time workers, while fewer than 3% said they were at least “somewhat unlikely” to continue coverage of full-time workers. 71% of companies said they “definitely won’t” push a portion of their workforce into the exchanges, while fewer than 1% “definitely will.”
Employers are more likely to adopt other strategies to contain health care costs. 52% of businesses surveyed have begun to institute changes in their benefits while 20% of businesses with fewer than 50 employees have or will freeze hiring in order to avoid ACA penalties. In addition, 20% of respondents plan to limit workers’ shifts to below the 30-hour threshold that designates full-time employees.