The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) this month released the results from a survey that asked 727 employers their views on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and repeal-and-replace efforts.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce earlier this year reported that 178 million Americans rely on employers for their health insurance. With all of the speculation on what is going to happen in Washington, this survey provides some insight on what employers think about what they would like to see happen.
The five provisions that received the most employer support were:
- Maintaining the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance for both employers and employees
- Expanded use and/or flexibility for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
- Wellness incentives (to the level permitted in the ACA)
- Ban on pre-existing condition limitations
- No cost-sharing for preventive care
The five provisions that received the most employer opposition were:
- Cadillac Tax (excise tax on high cost health plans)
- Premiums based upon medical experience
- Increased age-based differential between younger and older individuals (i.e. increased from 3 times to 5 times)
- Limit on health flexible spending accounts salary reductions (current limit $2,600)
- Employer mandate/Ban on annual limits
Overall only 19% of employers surveyed wanted to see a complete ACA repeal and 96% of employers surveyed said they would still offer coverage even if the employer mandate is repealed. A few employers surveyed said they might terminate their plans, citing rising cost as the primary reason. Some members of the Senate as of late have said they would not support the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) primarily because it does little to address the rising cost of healthcare. Currently it is not certain where the repeal and replace bills will go.
We will continue to follow the progress of any repeal and replace bills in Congress and will provide updates accordingly.