Although the entire HR/benefits industry is waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act later this month, 86% of single employers and corporations will or are likely to continue to provide health coverage to their employees in 2014, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

“These employers recognize that offering health care coverage is an important benefit that helps retain current employees, attract future talent, and increase employee satisfaction,” says Michael Wilson, IFEBP chief executive. 

The report, “Health Care Reform: 2012 Employer Actions Update,” shows that only 1% of respondents will definitely not provide coverage to all full-time employees in 2014. Among the 54% of employers that declined to definitively state that they will continue to provide coverage to all full-time employees in 2014, many (45.1%) cited the cost of providing coverage becoming too expensive as the driving reason.

IFEBP asked 968 HR/benefits professionals and industry experts about their health coverage plans in anticipation of this month’s PPACA ruling by the Supreme Court. Nearly two in five employers (39.1%) are beginning to develop tactics to deal with the implications of reform, while 31.3% are taking a wait-and-see approach. Among those organizations in a wait-and-see phase, 80.7% are awaiting the Supreme Court decision, 62.4% are awaiting more regulatory guidance and 52.1% are awaiting the outcome of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

Among other findings in the report, nearly half of all employers (47.2%) have conducted an analysis to determine how health care reform will impact health plan costs, and a majority (69.6%) expects the law will increase costs in 2012.

In response, “increasing participants’ share of premium costs is the most common technique [for cost-containment], followed by increasing in-network deductibles and out-of-pocket limits,” says Julie Stich, the IFEBP director of research.

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