Employers Skeptical on Health Care
A Towers Watson health care reform survey revealed that employers have little hope that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will help them achieve their top goals to decrease health care cost and improve workforce health.
The survey of more than 650 mid- to senior-level benefit professionals found that employers don't believe the legislation will help contain costs, encourage healthier lifestyles or improve the quality of care. Given that employers anticipate an increase in health benefit costs, 88% plan to pass on the increase to employees, 74% plan to reduce health benefits and programs and 82% opted to remain committed to providing workforce health improvement/wellness initiatives. In addition, based on average annual cost projections, Towers Watson estimated that the excise tax will affect more than 60% of employers when it becomes effective in 2018, with many more to follow soon after. But only 46% of the employers surveyed believe they will be subject to the excise tax. According to Towers Watson, the PPACA presents employers with an unprecedented opportunity to reshape their deal with employees and their overall total rewards package. But, at this point, most employers predict health care reforms will have no impact on their ability to achieve key workforce management goals such as improving productivity, attraction and retention, and providing a competitive reward package.