A poll of U.S.-based HR managers conducted just after Election Day found that many respondents had delayed enacting health care plan changes required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Just over 64.5 percent said that they had been incrementally implementing health care plan changes required in 2013 and 2014, while 19.4 percent said they need to “speed up implementation” and another 16.1 percent said that they “don’t know where we go from here,” according to a post-election poll by Corporate Synergies Group, an employee benefits broker and consulting firm.
The nationwide poll was conducted Nov. 7-8, 2012, shortly after President Barack Obama was re-elected, ensuring that the health care reform law will survive largely intact.
When asked their opinion on health care reform, 74.2 percent of the polled HR managers said they preferred “the way things were” prior to the law’s enactment. However, most of those surveyed intended to offer their employees similar health insurance coverage to what they currently have, while just over a quarter (25.8 percent) are considering reducing the coverage they offer.
“The people we speak with are grateful the election has passed, because now they know the direction in which we’re heading—even if they don’t necessarily like the direction,” said John Turner, CEO of Corporate Synergies Group. “There are still a lot of variables that need to be considered by employers, but it’s good that the ground has stopped moving beneath our feet.”
Health Exchange Delays Expected
Potentially adding to the confusion around implementation is the widespread belief that the required state or federal government-run health care exchanges will not be operational by 2014, as mandated by the health care law. Nearly 84 percent of respondents said they don’t expect that deadline to be met.
When the exchanges are launched, 9.7 percent of respondents would consider dropping group coverage and helping their employees purchase individual coverage through the exchanges.
Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
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