SURVEY RESULTS – Sectors react differently to ACA ruling, but most will provide health coverage
Despite the differing reactions among U.S. business sectors to yesterday’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) Supreme Court ruling, 77 percent of surveyed organizations are very likely to provide health coverage in 2014, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans’ Supreme Court ACA Decision Reaction Survey.
“The Foundation’s membership is diverse much like the American public and it provides a snapshot into the views of many different types of U.S. organizations,” said Michael Wilson, International Foundation CEO. “The data shows that the reactions to the Court’s decision differ significantly by sectors.”
The public sector, which stands to benefit the most from the ACA, showed the most satisfaction with 59 percent. The multiemployer (49 percent) and single-employer/corporation (33 percent) sectors had lesser degrees of satisfaction with the Supreme Court’s ruling. Similarly, the workforce reactions by each of the sectors were in line with the sector organizations, but at higher levels of satisfaction: public (67 percent), multiemployers (55 percent) and corporate (43 percent).
Overall, the results were split when respondents identified which Supreme Court decision would have been most beneficial to their organization. The data showed that 46 percent felt the best possible decision for their organization would have been the full ACA being thrown out, while 41 percent said the best decision was the law being upheld. Another 12 percent of organizations would have liked the individual mandate overturned, but the remainder of the ACA to stay intact.
Organizations remain likely to provide health coverage when the health care exchanges open in 2014, with 77 percent of the employers indicating that they definitely will or are very likely to continue to provide coverage in 2014. By contrast, only two percent will not provide coverage in 2014.
“As we have consistently seen in our recent research, half of the respondents feel that wellness and value-based health care programs are the most viable options for competitive organizations concerned with escalating health care costs,” said Wilson.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision, 49 percent of the organizations are shifting their attention to wellness, while 32 percent are focusing on consumer-driven health plans, 27 percent will shift costs to employees and 26 percent will focus on value-based health care (VBHC).
“We’re not surprised by these findings since our recent wellness survey told us that seven in 10 U.S. employers offer wellness programs,” said Paul Hackleman, International Foundation Health Care and Public Employer Analyst. “As one of the Foundation’s major initiatives, value-based health care is gaining more acceptance, and, we’ll continue to work with our members to help implement these programs.”
Most organizations have been keeping current with the legislative aspects of the ACA and some are already prepared for future provisions. In fact, 78 percent of the respondents are extremely or very far along in terms of complying with current ACA provisions, while 60 percent are extremely or very far along with preparing for future ACA provisions.
“While the research showed that the Court’s decision instilled employers with more confidence, we found that 74 percent said that the upcoming elections in the fall will impact their willingness to make health care decisions now,” said Julie Stich, the International Foundation’s Director of Research.
Interestingly, organizations in states that have already implemented health care exchanges are generally more satisfied with the Supreme Court’s decision (47 percent to 35 percent of respondents in states that haven’t implemented), and are more prepared with current provisions (47 percent to 36 percent) and more likely to continue coverage in 2014 (56 percent to 42 percent).
The Supreme Court ACA Decision Reaction Survey was administered on June 28 to measure organizations’ reactions to the landmark decision. Responses were received from 1,122 plan administrators, trustees and organizational representatives. These individuals represent a comprehensive range of organizations with respect to size, sector and region.
SOURCE: www.ifebp.org. Reprinted with permission by Wolters Kluwer.