There has been a lot of talk about how the health insurance exchanges will affect the health insurance you are currently getting through your employer. Previous studies insisted that the majority of employers will immediately stop offering health insurance to their employees. A new survey finds the exact opposite is closer to the truth.
In June of 2011, there was a much talked about study done by McKinsey. It consisted of a survey that involved over 1,300 employers. The survey asked employers (of both small and large businesses) about what they planned to do regarding the health insurance they were currently offering at least some of their employees once the health insurance exchanges were running.
The McKinsey survey results showed that 30% of the employers who participated in the survey said that they will “definitely” or “probably” stop offering employer sponsored health insurance to their employees in 2014. The survey also found that 50% of the employers who took the survey, the ones that had a clear understanding of health reform law, were planning on dropping their employer sponsored health insurance plans in 2014.
Naturally, this created controversy. People who currently were enjoying the health insurance that they got through their jobs became upset about the potential of losing it. Many news articles talked about how employers would choose to dump their insurance policies, and how everyone would end up with no choice except to use the insurance exchanges, like it or not. There were fears that the insurance plans that could be found in the exchanges would not match up to the ones given by employers.
Now, there is a new survey that was done by Mercer. The survey included around 900 employers. This survey finds that employers are intending to keep offering health care coverage to their workers, even after the changes that will come in 2014 are in effect.
The survey found that enrollment in employer’s health plans has increased by 2%, on average. This is related to the new health care reform requirement that makes all employers cover their worker’s children who are between 18 and 26 years old.
The Mercer survey also found that employers expect enrollment in health care plans to increase by another 2% soon. This is in relation to the requirement that employers must enroll new full-time employees into their plans.
Another interesting result of the survey finds that the widespread belief that most, if not all, employers would spontaneously drop their health insurance plans in 2014 is inaccurate. Only 2% of the employers who took the survey said they were “very likely” to stop offering health insurance coverage to their employees. Another 6% said they were “likely” to do so. This result is very different than the results of the McKinsey survey, (that claimed 30% of employers would drop their health insurance plans).
In short, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to panic. If you currently have health insurance, that comes from your job, it is unlikely that you will lose it in 2014. If you don’t like the insurance offered by your employer, then you can see what the exchanges will be able to offer you. For the most part, this is up to you.
Image by Gisela Giardino on Flickr