Affordable Care Act is Already Boosting Costs

The employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) doesn’t take effect until 2104 but the health reform law is already affecting employees. A recent Business Group on Health survey of large employers found that, due to the ACA:

  • 70% of respondents must remove lifetime benefit limits; and 40% must remove annual limits on specific benefits.
  • More than one-quarter (26%) have to remove annual dollar limits on overall benefits for 2011.
  • Half that proportion (13%) have had to remove pre-existing condition exclusions on dependent children.
  • Partially because of these changes, the cost of coverage is expected to climb by about 9% — two percentage points more than in 2010.

To combat rising costs, nearly two-thirds of employers in the survey will require workers to pay more of the premiums while nearly half will make employees pay more out-of-pocket.

Effects on access to care are below the fold.

  • Nearly 70% of employers are considering dropping retiree drug plans (the Medicare trustees assumes 5.8 million fewer retirees will lose drug coverage by 2016).
  • About 86% of employers are considering dropping Medicare Advantage plans for retirees.
  • More than half of employers are considering capping employer contributions.

Comments (4)

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  1. Bruce says:

    Surprise! The bill is costly.

  2. Tom H. says:

    The only reason this is newsworthy at all is that the mainstream news media has been publishing the White House talking points ever since the bill was passed — conveying the impression that Obama Care is one big free lunch.

  3. Ken says:

    The mainstream media is only interested in the benefits of reform. I can’t remember a single article that gives a timeline on the costs.

  4. Des says:

    Rising cost on premium? Not only at work, but individual/family policyholders are also feeling the affect. So much of affordable care. My policy is becoming unaffordable!