The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains over 2,700 pages; and there are more than 15,000 pages of guidance and regulations; and the law has been modified no less than 30 times. In May of 2014 we set out to learn how companies are managing the uncertainty caused by the impact of the ACA and its ever-changing rules. So we developed an online survey and shared it electronically with companies throughout the country, asking employers how the ACA is affecting their business.
Survey Results: Cherry Bekaert Benefits Consulting LLC (“CBBC”) is pleased to announce the results from its 2014 Affordable Care Act Survey (“ACA Survey”).
Questions covered topics such as hiring practices, cost impact of the ACA, medical plans and insurance benefits. Key results from the CBBC’s ACA Survey include the following:
Employers say the ACA is driving costs higher. About 83 percent of respondents believe that the ACA will continue to put upward pressure on medical plan costs.
The ACA has had a significant impact on hiring practices. One out of four respondents are hiring more part-time workers, with another 14.5 percent considering similar action.
ACA results in fewer employer sponsored medical plans. Almost 25 percent of respondents indicated they are considering the elimination of employer-sponsored plans.
Increasing costs of medical plans are affecting other employer sponsored benefits. 25.7 percent of respondents indicated they have already reduced expenditures or are considering such action on dental, vision and life coverage’s as a result of the ACA’s impact on medical plan costs.
Employers believe the ACA will have negative impact on business. 73 percent of respondents indicated that the ACA will negatively impact profits.
In working with clients on the impact of the ACA and evaluating the results of the survey, some key findings are as follows:
Employers are taking steps to control the cost of health insurance by either increasing contributions and/or reducing benefit levels.
In transferring cost burden to participating employees, the results are contradictory to stated objectives of ACA as it will be more difficult and costly for participants to access health care.
More and more employers are changing full-time positions to part-time to avoid employer requirements of the law which could negatively impact employee morale, productivity and loyalty.
Employers are frustrated with complexities, costs and administrative burdens imposed by ACA and increasingly considering the elimination or reduction of employee benefit plans
Overall perception and trending impact of the law is negative with ACA reducing profits and making it more difficult for businesses to compete.