Filed Under:Markets, Employee Benefits

Why would employers keep health benefits?

U.S. Capitol (AP photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
U.S. Capitol (AP photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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.

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.

But, even if some employers' health benefits costs increase as a result of PPACA, Urban Institute analysts believe that the key to the effect of PPACA on employer plans will be whether most workers' employers think the employees prefer traditional PPACA plans to the available alternatives created by PPACA, Blumberg said.

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Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
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