Will the new health plan law make health coverage more expensive for your firm or staff? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report this week saying that for companies with fewer than 50 workers, costs should drop. If your firm employs 50 or more workers, costs might go up but not by much, according to the authors, who summarized several studies at the Urban Institute.


The Affordable Health Care Act should give small employers more options and lower premiums for businesses of all sizes, they said, possibly helping smaller businesses win desirable employees. 


Their comments come after McKinsey & Co., the management consulting firm, posted the questionnaire and methodology of a widely criticized online survey in which nearly one-third of employers said they would definitely or probably drop employee coverage in 2014 as a result of the law. On Monday, McKinsey defended its study, saying that a poll shouldn’t be compared to research based on economic modeling.


A White House blog responded that McKinsey’s report neglected to include a key result of its own research: more than 44% of small business respondents said that they planned to enter the new health insurance exchanges created by the law.


A second study released Tuesday, which analyzed trends state by state, reported on the steep decline in employer-sponsored coverage.


As health insurers announce record profits and flush reserves, while raising premiums, federal regulators have set new rules for evaluating requests for rate increases.


Ehrenfeld writes for Financial Planning, a SourceMedia publication.

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