Obamacare Won't Stop Employers from Providing Insurance
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The Fiscal Times
February 19, 2014

A lot of people think Obamacare can be an alternative to employer-sponsored health insurance. The majority of companies, however, plan to continue sponsoring health benefits for their employees, even though their method of delivering benefits and controlling costs will shift.

A soon-to-be-released Aon Hewitt report found that 95 percent of employers will not drop health benefits in the next three to five years. But a growing number plan to move away from managing costs simply by negotiating with benefit providers and shifting costs to employees. Instead, more companies will require employees to take a more active role in their health by offering a few plan options and initiatives designed to reduce costs.

“Traditional cost-management tactics do not address foundational issues in health care, including worsening population health and misaligned provider payment methods,” Jim Winkler, Aon Hewitt’s chief innovation officer for health and benefits, said in a statement. “Employers remain committed to providing health benefits but recognize the need for new approaches that fix those problems.”

Related: 10 Companies Where Part-Timers Still Get Health Benefits

A third of companies said their preferred approach to health benefits in the next three to five years would be via private health exchanges.

Although the law permits employers to direct their part-time employees to purchase health coverage through the public exchanges, most have no plans to do so in the near future. Almost two-thirds of companies will provide the same level of benefits to part-timers as they do to full-time employees, according to the report. Only 38 percent plan to offer no health benefits to part-time workers.

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Life + Money Editor Beth Braverman covers all things personal finance. Formerly a senior reporter and social media editor at MONEY magazine, she’s also held gigs as a newspaper reporter and trade magazine editor.