A new study from TAG Employer Services, an administrative and employer services organization, finds most businesses with fewer than 50 employees expect to continue to offer health insurance of some kind in the next year. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), these smaller employers are not required to offer health care to full-time or full-time equivalent employees until 2016.
Among the company executives surveyed, only four percent of small- and mid-size firms said they would not continue to offer health insurance to their employees. More than two-thirds of survey participants (68 percent) said they strongly agreed they would keep offering health coverage, while another 28 percent said they likely would maintain coverage. There have been concerns raised in the past two years about whether employers might drop coverage to save money, but that does not appear to be happening based upon TAG’s research.
"For the great majority of organizations we surveyed, the Affordable Care Act is not an issue since they employ fewer than 50 workers and aren’t affected by the law’s [current] requirements," said Jack Biltis, chief executive officer at TAG. "Nevertheless, for most small employers, health care coverage isn’t expendable. At least four out of five mid-tier companies offer some type of coverage. Not only is it good business, health care coverage is also essential for companies to hold their own in the competition for talent."
Nevertheless, cost continues to be a concern for employers, as reflected in survey respondents’ ranking of worries for the year ahead. Seventy-seven cited keeping health care costs under control, while 10 percent mentioned helping employees make the best choice. Eight percent cited avoiding health care penalties (which are part of the ACA beginning in 2016).