Willis Health Care Reform Survey: What Employers Think


The Willis Human Capital Practice surveyed more than 2,300 employers in a wide range business sizes, industries, and geographic regions to learn how things were going in their preparation for Health Care Reform (PPACA). What we found was that the costs and benefits of the Act are coming into greater focus for employers now that the Act has entered the implementation phase.


Read what our survey respondents had to say about the impact of Health Care Reform on employer group medical plans, in The Health Care Reform Survey, 2011-2012

The good news is that employers continue to value providing medical benefits to their employees and do not plan to eliminate that benefit. Respondents also indicated the new requirements will force them to think about their benefits in a strategic manner and as part of the total rewards they use to attract retain and motivate employees.

Download our full report for details, but here are some general observations from the survey results:

  • Employers remain under the gun to get their plans into compliance and are taking a “compliance-as-we-go” approach. Even two years after the passage of the law, fewer than half of the surveyed employers have developed a health care strategy to comply with Health Care Reform.
  • Employers will be forced to make changes due to increased costs that they attribute to Health Care Reform mandates. They expect other employers to do the same.
  • Employers are confused, as are their employees. Employers want to communicate the impact of Health Care Reform to their employees but have not yet done so, presumably because they do not know how those changes will play out in their plans. As a result, employers appear to be considering the option of state-based exchanges. Their frustration is evident since they are contemplating this approach despite having little knowledge of what that participation will mean to them or their employees.
  • Many employers had hoped that the grandfathering provisions would permit employers to maintain their plans at roughly the status quo. Despite the desire to do so, however, only a third of employers continue to maintain grandfathered plans.

Employers are unsure how Health Care Reform will affect their businesses and are concerned that it will negatively affect their employees and their bottom line. So they continue to search for answers and direction on how to implement the mandates with the least possible disruption to their work forces.


About Jay Kirschbaum

Jay spent 22 years as a tax attorney specializing in employee benefits before joining Willis in 2001. He is current…
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