A witness who generally supports of the goals of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) argued today in Washington that most employers that now offer health benefits will continue to do so once PPACA takes full effect.
Linda Blumberg, a health policy specialist at the Urban Institute, rejected the arguments of PPACA critics who contend that the law will burden employers and undermine employer-sponsored health benefits.
Blumberg, who refers to the law as the ACA, said at a hearing on PPACA and jobs organized by the House Energy & Commerce Committee that the law could give many employers some benefits cost relief, by slowing the growth in the underlying health care costs.
“Except for a cost increase to mid-sized employers, due largely to enrollment increases, the ACA benefits rather than burdens small employers who want to provide health insurance,” Blumberg said, according to a written version of her testimony posted by the committee.
Urban Institute simulations show that employer premium spending per person insured could hold steady at about $3,650, Blumberg said.
Large employers could end up spending about 4.3 percent more in total, but only because the number of people they cover is likely to increase, Blumberg said.
At small employers, new PPACA health insurance tax credits should help reduce per-person costs by 7.3 percent at employers that choose to offer coverage, and by 1.4 percent all small employers, Blumberg said.
Roughly 5 percent of the employers with 101 to 1,000 employers could end up paying the PPACA penalties to be imposed on “large employers” that fail to provide health benefits, and penalty payments and expanded enrollment could increase health benefits a total of about 9.5 percent at those midsize employers, Blumberg said.