Six months after the enactment of major healthcare reform in the U.S., companies seem to be settling into the status quo. Two recent surveys show the majority of employers plan to continue providing health coverage when state exchanges start operating in 2014. A survey of more than 2,800 companies by HR consultancy Mercer found that just 6% of large companies--those with more than 500 employees--say they are likely to stop providing health plans in 2014. The possible falloff is greater among small companies, 20% of which say they are likely to stop providing health plans.
A separate survey of 1,400 companies by the human capital practice of insurance brokerage Willis shows that 55% plan to continue offering health coverage in 2014, even if the new exchanges offer competitively priced individual health coverage. But Willis notes that companies are concerned about healthcare costs, with 88% expecting group health plan costs to rise as a result of healthcare reform and 76% predicting administrative costs will also increase.