Lately, there has been a trend among large employers who have reported considering shifting employees to private exchanges as a cost-mitigation strategy. However, preliminary results from a survey conducted by the National Business Coalition on Health and Benz Communications revealed that a majority of large employers surveyed rejected this idea. This article contains an overview of the preliminary results from the Inside Benefits Communication Survey.
Background on the Inside Benefits Communication Survey
The 2014 Inside Benefits Communication Survey was conducted by the National Business Coalition on Health and Benz Communications. The goal was to learn more about how companies are strategizing their benefits to comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance issues.
The survey polled 333 human resources and healthcare benefits professionals about their communications approaches, strategies, and results. While the survey spanned across the nation in a variety of industries, there were a significant number of respondents in the technology and service industries. In addition, respondents were located mainly in the Southeast and West regions of the United States.
Infographic: Benz Communications
Employers Are Not Looking to Private Exchanges
The preliminary results from the survey revealed that employers are rejecting the notion of moving their employees to a private exchange as a cost-mitigation strategy. Although this trend has been expressed in similar industry polls, 55 percent of the respondents reported that they will not stop sponsoring employee health insurance to sponsor coverage through a private exchange.
Other large employers did report interest in shifting employees to a private exchange:
Almost one-third (32 percent) of employers are considering moving to a private exchange within the next three to five years
Eight percent are planning a move to a private exchange within the next year
Five percent already use a private exchange to provide employee health benefits
Some Employers to Increase Employee Contributions
HR/benefits professionals were asked about whether they will maintain current benefit plans and coverage levels and whether costs would shift to employees. The results were that:
40 percent will maintain current coverage levels without increasing employee costs
32 percent will maintain current benefit and coverage levels, but will increase employee costs
Respondents were asked how their company will prepare to comply with the ACA “Cadillac tax” in 2018. The Cadillac tax is an excise tax on high cost health insurance plans offered by employers The results were as follows:
26 percent plan to maintain current benefit plans and coverage levels without increasing employee costs
Almost 20 percent plan to maintain benefit levels, but will increase employee costs
15 percent will reduce plan benefit and coverage levels while still increasing employee costs
Read the Inside Benefits Communication Survey from the National Business Coalition on Health and Benz Communications.