Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Maureen Bozlinski
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
mbozlinksi@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Most employers expect health care costs to increase under Obamacare

More than 60 percent of employers expect to see some increase in providing employee health care coverage when the Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014.

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By Chad Terhune
Los Angeles Times
Published:
LOS ANGELES -- More than 60 percent of employers in a new survey anticipate some increase in their health benefit costs because of the federal Affordable Care Act.
The survey of 1,203 employers by the Mercer consulting firm found that 20 percent of those businesses expect an increase of 5 percent or more.
The firm said employers in retail and hospitality, which often have large numbers of part-time and lower-paid workers, will be among those most affected when the health care law takes full effect in 2014. Employers will be required to extend coverage to all employees working 30 hours or more per week or face possible penalties, according to Mercer.
"Extending coverage to more employees will be a significant new expense for these employers," said Tracy Watts, Mercer's U.S. health care reform leader, "especially because other provisions (of the law) regulate how much an employer can require employees to contribute to the cost and how good the coverage must be."
Overall, 6 percent of employers surveyed said they were likely to stop providing health benefits after government-run insurance exchanges open in 2014. That rose to 9 percent among retail and hospitality employers.
Many employers, large and small, are rethinking their health care strategies in the face of escalating health premiums and new requirements under the federal law.
Some businesses are opting for smaller networks of doctors and hospitals that restrict workers' choices and require employees to pay more to see higher-cost medical providers. Other employers are arranging for teams of doctors and nurses to focus more attention on high-cost patients suffering from multiple chronic conditions.
"While there are a number of potentially valuable cost-containment elements of the Affordable Care Act, the reality is unless something more is done there will still be upward pressure on health care costs," said Bill Kramer, executive director for national health policy at the Pacific Business Group on Health, a nonprofit coalition that includes large employers such as Boeing Co. and Walt Disney Co.
Kramer said "the unfinished business of health reform is cost containment."

©2012 Los Angeles Times
Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup