Health Insurance Likely To Be Dropped By Employers
McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, has released a new report stating that the new federal healthcare bill signed into law last year may dampen the number of employers willing to offer Americans health insurance on a significant level. The public option, it appears, plays the predominant role in health care insurance in the United States. A survey was conducted recently of 1,300 employers on the topic of health coverage. 30% of these said that by the year 2014, they will stop providing their employees with health insurance. 2014 is the year the health care law will go into effect. 50% of employers, who said they grasp the concept of reforms, suggested they would definitely not look for an alternative to employer coverage.
McKinsey acknowledges that the numbers derived from this study are higher than previous surveys. For instance, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 7% of employees who are provided health insurance by their employers will have to transfer their coverage to a government run program. McKinsey also defends the results in the report, saying the new law and public options were explained to the people participating in the poll.
The current administration passed the federal Affordable Care Act last year, where employers with 50 workers or more are required from the beginning of 2014 to offer their employees reasonable health care coverage or pay each worker a penalty of $2,000 (minus the first 30 employees), and avoid offering higher paid employees better benefits than the employees on a lower scale. Americans who are unemployed or work for employers who don’t provide health insurance have the option of buying new insurance through the state program. Proponents of the law have argued that the new law will allow more individuals to become insured. According to statistics released by the Commonwealth Fund 46% of companies with less than 10 employees and 52% of companies with less than 50 employees provide health insurance, compared to 98% of firms with more than 200 employees.
Employers are just beginning to grasp the law. For families making $88,000 annually, they will be eligible for a federal subsidy in the state health insurance program. Employers are bound to push employees on this income scale to take advantage of the federal subsidy. For instance, if employers offer employees compensation instead of health insurance, the employees can buy the federal subsidy health care coverage. This is a win-win situation for the employee and employer. Such health coverage will protect the employer from having to pay high health insurance cost, which is rising every day.
McKinsey predicts that such statistics could make Americans lose their employer covered health insurance. If McKinsey’s prediction is right, the primary role the government wants to play in reforming health care for Americans could become its downfall. Instead of offering liberty and happiness, the health care law may become a bigger problem than before. 2011 is showing a crisis in health care. The reality is that most Americans are afraid of government provided health care; they feel that this very reason could lead employers to not expanding their companies, meaning loss of jobs!