The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) might have all sorts of big, complicated effects on employers in the future — and it’s already having effects on employers today.
Analysts at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) recently put their crystal ball aside long enough to look at what PPACA has done to employers and their benefits’ programs so far.
The benefits group based the results on a survey of the people in its own database and the database of an affiliate, the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS). The people in that database tend to work for larger employers with a high level of interest in their benefits programs.
But about 10 percent of the 598 benefits specialists who responded were at employers with 50 or fewer employees, and another 24 percent were at employers with 51 to 499 employees.
For a look at what the benefits specialists are saying, read on.
1. About 29 percent of the participants said they know how much PPACA is affecting their employers’ costs this year.
Some participants said PPACA is affecting their employers’ health benefits costs. One said PPACA will reduce costs 30 percent this year.
Half of the participants said PPACA is increasing costs less than 3 percent this year, and half said the law is increasing costs more than 3 percent.
2. For some, paying for the preventive care and wellness programs associated with PPACA is a headache.
About 21 percent of the employers listed adding PPACA-related wellness benefits, running existing PPACA-related wellness programs, or offering the basic PPACA preventive services package “for free” as one of the top three PPACA-related cost drivers.
See also: Feds tighten preventive services regs
3. Those PPACA fees, assessments, penalties and other extractions of cash can add up.
When listing the top three PPACA-related cost drivers, 18 percent of the participants named the new health insurance provider fee as a top driver, and 33 percent named the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) treatment effectiveness research fee.