About 27% of U.S. employers say they already have analyzed the cost of complying with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) and other new health system change laws and regulations.
More than 30% say PPACA has increased health benefits costs by more than 2%, and 15% say PPACA has increased health benefits costs by more than 5%, according to consultants in the New York human capital practice at Willis Group Holdings P.L.C. (NYSE:WSH).
Willis surveyed about 2,300 U.S. employers of all sizes.
The participating employers said the most expensive PPACA provision that has already started to take effect is the one requiring employers that offer dependent coverage to treat children up to age 26 as dependents.
The provision that eliminates lifetime benefits limits and phases out annual benefits limits is almost as costly, employers told Willis.
About 22% of the employers said the young adult coverage provision has increased their costs by more than 2%, and about 19% said the benefits limit provision has increased costs by more than 2%.
The cost of a provision eliminating co-payments and deductibles for preventive services may be exceeding the 2% threshold at 15% of the employers, and the cost of removing pre-existing condition exclusions for children under age 19 may be exceeding the threshold at 13% of the employers.
The large employers that participated in the latest Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health survey are getting nervous about 2014.
Towers Watson & Company, New York (NYSE:TW), and the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), Washington, surveyed 512 U.S. employers earlier this winter. Each participating company had at least 1,000 employees.
Many major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) are scheduled to take effect in 2014.