The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has triggered considerable angst about the fate of group health insurance coverage since its passage, but recent research suggests that it’s not expected to affect non-medical benefits.

Just 10% of 1,508 benefits decision-makers in organizations with fewer than 500 employees and 20% of those with 500 or more employees responding to the MetLife Health Care Reform Poll anticipate that the new law will result in reduced spending on disability, life and dental insurance.

"This is good news for workers since the poll also found that health care reform has increased the importance of non-medical benefits to them," according to Ronald Leopold, M.D., vice president and national medical director of MetLife’s U.S. Business.

For example, 43% of the survey respondents expected this would be the case during the next five years.

In addition, 71% of the 1,412 employees with a good understanding of health care reform who also were interviewed by MetLife consider their non-medical benefits an important driver of loyalty toward their employer. The percentage fell to 57% for those with a poor understanding of the new legislation.

Another key finding is that 57% of employers with fewer than 500 employees and 48% of employers with 500 or more workers say they will be relying on their consultants, brokers and agents more than ever.

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