Many larger employers see two major flaws in respect to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). First, the law focuses primarily on insurance reform with little or no attention to improvements in healthcare payment system. Second, it does not establish the transparency tools needed to provide consumers with more information prior to seeking care.
When asked what they find the most troubling components of the ACA, 85% of large employers said “Increasing access to the health care system without making significant improvements in the efficiency and affordability of that system” is of concern to them. The ACA puts more limits in place, thus putting constraints on many plan design features. This leads to the concern that there will now be more people in a system still operating on a hyper-inflationary rate.
A majority of employers believe the ACA has reduced their ability to control cost and as a result, have begun to look for new strategies.
- Based on the limitations of the ACA, more employers are now considering consumer-directed health plans (CDHP). In fact, 81% are considering or already offering a CDHP.
- Private Exchanges are also being reviewed for cost savings, but many of those surveyed remain cautious due to lack of control over future costs.
- Public Exchanges may be the best alternate solution for some or all of their workforce. Many employers voiced that they would like to be permitted to purchase health care in the public exchanges using pre-tax dollars.
- In-House Health Care Facilities are another option. The do-it-yourself mentality is gaining popularity as more employers are looking for ways to work together. Such collaboration would work best for larger workforces located in concise areas.
- Finally, Single-Payer Health Care may still be the incidental solution brought forward by the ACA even though many have said they are not in favor of this approach. However, some large employers have not conclusively disregarded the single-payer system as a means to provide health care to their employees.
Most employers are committed to providing health care for their employees and continue to explore the different avenues to achieve it. If you want to read more, check out this study from the American Health Policy Institute.