Companies that have threatened to drop coverage of their employees as a result of Obamacare are vocal, but according to a new study they are also few and far between. Only a total one percent of businesses said they are not going to continue coverage in the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans survey. Another 2 percent said that they are “somewhat unlikely” to continue providing health care to their employees. Meanwhile, 69 percent will definitely cover employees, and 25 percent “very likely” will.
The results are encouraging primarily because they show businesses have growing confidence in Obamacare — last year, the survey showed that far fewer companies were certain to continue their health care plans. It also means business leaders are beginning to recognize the benefits providing employees with health coverage:
That hefty percentage of respondents who said coverage definitely will be offered in 2014 contrasts with a similar survey the IFEBP did last year, when only 46% of respondents said coverage would definitely be offered. That greater certainty expressed by employers about offering coverage next year may the result of several factors, said Julie Stich, research director for the Brookfield, Wis.-based IFEBP. One factor may be a greater consideration by employers on how offering a health care plan can significantly aid in the recruitment and retention of employees, Ms. Stich said.
Offering health care does, indeed, aid recruitment and retention. And if three percent of companies chose not to do so while the rest do, they will likely suffer the consequences. Lacking health coverage also drives away some of the best employees, especially when, under Obamacare, those employees will then be forced to take on the cost burden of healh care coverage themselves.