Some Employers Are Planning On Encouraging Full-Time Employees To Obtain Coverage Through Marketplace

Fifteen percent of employers are encouraging or will encourage their full-time employees to obtain health care coverage through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)-created health insurance marketplaces before 2018, according to recent research from the Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC). In addition, the survey of 723 employers found that if employers are able to contribute towards employees’ coverage in the marketplace, 58 percent of employers would consider encouraging their employees to obtain coverage through the public marketplace.

Interest in private exchanges. Forty-five percent of employers indicated that they plan to consider or will be using a private health insurance exchange for their full-time active employees by the 2018 plan year. Private health insurance exchanges are an option for employers to reduce their costs and administrative burdens, noted the PEEC, a collaborative created by four nonprofit business coalitions (Employers Health Coalition, Inc. (Ohio), Midwest Business Group on Health, Northeast Business Group on Health, and the Pacific Business Group on Health) and advisory services firm PwC US, to provide information on private exchange strategies, and purchasing decisions.

The survey also found the following about the ACA-created exchanges and private exchanges:

• Nearly 40 percent of employers plan to consider encouraging part-time employees to obtain health care coverage in the pubic exchange by 2018.

• More than 30 percent believe that the public exchanges will be a viable option for employees to get coverage within five years.

• The greatest barriers to private exchange adoption relate to their immaturity, the uncertainty about their long term stability, and an employer’s loss of flexibility, especially as it relates to tailoring benefit plan designs.

• Twenty-five percent of employers think that moving their organization to a private exchange will save them money.

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