Healthcare costs remain the top concern of CFOs, according to a recent survey, and the Obama administration's decision to give companies another year to comply with the requirement to provide insurance for all full-time workers isn't likely to improve the outlook for next year's cost increase.

Last month, the government announced that the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—which says companies must offer health coverage to all employees who work 30 hours a week or more, or else pay a penalty—has been delayed until 2015. That postponement gives companies more time to rework their healthcare offerings. But they still face higher costs in 2014 related to fees and other plan changes mandated by the ACA, as well as the possibility that more employees who are already eligible for health coverage will sign up as the law's individual mandate kicks in.

Plan changes that go into effect starting in 2014 include a 90-day limit on eligibility waiting periods and limits on the out-of-pocket maximums for new self-insured plans, said Tracy Watts, U.S. leader for healthcare reform at consultancy Mercer. There are also new fees coming next year, most notably the transitional reinsurance fee of $63 per participant.

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Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a business journalist who has written for Treasury & Risk, FierceCFO, Global Finance, Financial Week, Bridge News and The Bond Buyer.