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How Will Your Company Handle Obamacare?

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 8, 2011 5:57 AM |

What issue in our nation generates the strongest personal reaction?

1. Economy
2. Education
3. Deficit
4. Healthcare
5. Employment

While my poll is entirely unscientific and my answer is my own opinion, I STRONGLY believe that the topic of healthcare generates the strongest reaction of any issue facing our nation. Why? It’s personal nature, that is, “if you do not have your health, then what else really matters”? 

With the healthcare landscape poised to change rather dramatically over the next few years, have you inquired from your company how it may handle the changes under Obamacare? Would your employer tell you? Has your employer fully studied and reviewed the impact of Obamacare on its business?

I want to thank the loyal Sense on Cents reader who shares with us a review of how employers plan on managing under Obamacare.

Three in ten employers will abandon offering health coverage to their employees when President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014, according to a survey published by McKinsey Quarterly.

While only 7 percent of employees will be forced to switch to subsidized-exchange programs, 30 percent of companies say they will “definitely or probably” stop offering employer-sponsored coverage, according to the study published by McKinsey Quarterly.

“At least 30 percent of employers would gain economically from dropping coverage, even if they completely compensated employees for the change through other benefit offerings or higher salaries,” the study says, according to Market Watch.

That doesn’t mean too many people are going to quit due to health coverage issues, the study adds.

“Contrary to what employers assume, more than 85 percent of employees would remain at their jobs even if their employers stopped offering [employer-sponsored insurance], although about 60 percent would expect increased compensation.”

As the 2012 presidential elections approach, potential and confirmed Republican contenders are vowing to repeal the so-called Obamacare, including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

“In addition to the unconstitutional nature of individual and employer mandates, we are learning that they simply don’t work,” Gingrich says, according to CNN.

Such measures require the government to specify exactly what coverage must be included in insurance for it to qualify, Gingrich adds.

“The resulting costs to the taxpayer — and strain on the budget — lead the government to try and control healthcare costs by limiting healthcare services. The inevitable result is rationing by a nameless, faceless, unaccountable board of government bureaucrats.”

This last statement evokes real fear on behalf of American citizens. As well it should. We will certainly hear a lot more on this topic as Presidential hopefuls navigate across our nation during the upcoming campaign.

As this survey asserts, I do not doubt that many companies will try to shift an increasing percentage of the cost of healthcare to their employees. Increasing overall costs on employers, especially small businesses, is not conducive to job growth.

Are people around your office talking about this? What are they saying?

Thanks again to the reader who shared this report.

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.


  • Glen

    Thus far, I have lost my primary care physion due to reduced reimbursements. If I want to continue with him, I have to pay him $1,500 per year (per person) which is not feasible.

    My Oncologist has quit practicing medicine – low reimbursement levels cited. I am hearing of quite a few doctors just stopping practicing medicine. Those nearing retirement age, are retiring.

    My employer has notified me that I will no longer be able to purchase health care insurance after 2012.

    I have nothing good to say about Obamacare.

  • Jeff

    Even now my company is seeing growth, but they’ve froze hiring and let go of a number of people because of this.

    They chose to continue to maintain the same level of health care, but with the added costs this has brought them, the money had to come from somewhere.

  • Ray

    The rightwingnut ideologues are carping about it, I guess, but nobody else gives a darn.

    It’s too early to tell what effect this is going to have at my company, which is small (<100 employees), but no one is sounding any alarm bells.

    I think our owner will continue to provide an insurance plan as long as he is able to afford it. Employees pay probably about 40% of the premiums, currently.

    • LD

      “Nobody else gives a darn.”

      Really? Where do you live and work?

  • Duane

    With companies all around the world holding their “health care advantage” (read this as government-sponsored health care) over American company’s heads, it is great to see that U.S. companies will finally start to catch up and become competitive.

    This can only be done once the health care burden is lifted from their backs. This is better than a tax cut any day.

    • LD

      Kind of interesting perspective. Not so sure that most companies here in the U.S. would view this benefit in the light you would propose.

  • Rob

    I have worked for a sizable (1,000+ employee) company for the past 11 years. Since 2004, when our company went solo after being release from a capsizing parent company by the bankruptcy courts, our upper-most management has seen fit to eat the increasing cost of healthcare on our behalf. Some of our employees even get free healthcare if they choose the HMO. The company just outright pays for it. We have been one of Fortune Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For’ for the past 4 years, and our benefits have been a big part of that.

    2011 was the first year the company have passed the increased cost of healthcare onto the employee base, and understandably so. We’re pretty successful in our market space and do $200M+ / year, but I fear what will become of our above average benefits in the coming years.

    Looks like it’s time to start asking our powers-that-be how they will handle/ address Obamacare…

    Thanks for all the great posts, LD. We appreciate it.

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