One Quarter Of HR Professionals Said Keeping Up With Regs Is Biggest ACA Challenge

In May 2013, 818 HR professionals from SHRM’s membership database participated in SHRM research entitled Health Care Reform: Challenges and Costs. The survey found the following:

What are the biggest challenges HR professionals are facing as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)? One-quarter (25 percent) report that keeping up with the various regulations and relating them to the appropriate provisions is the biggest challenge, followed by understanding details of the law (20 percent). The third most common challenge is the impact of the ACA on health care plan costs (18 percent).

What is the main ACA implementation barrier for organizations? Forty-one percent of HR professionals said that the complexity of the law is the main implementation barrier. In addition, 27 percent cited a lack of understanding of the ACA’s details and its impact on the organization, and 10 percent saw the cost of implementing the law as the main barrier. However, 10 percent also reported that their organization has had no implementation barriers.

How do organizations expect ACA to affect their overall health care costs in 2014? The majority of respondents (84 percent) expect costs to increase, 15 percent expect them to stay the same, and 1 percent foresee a decrease in costs. Of those projecting increased costs, 55 percent expect a 1 percent to 10 percent increase, 19 percent forecast an 11 percent to 15 percent increase, and 26 percent expect an increase of 16 percent or more.

How likely are organizations to pass on either increased or decreased health care costs to employees? Nearly three-quarters of organizations (74 percent) are likely or highly likely to pass any increased costs on to employees. Fewer than one-half (45 percent) said their organization would be likely or highly likely to pass on any cost savings to employees.

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