Obamacare will bring “the end of employer-sponsored insurance,” says Ezekiel J. Emanuel, who helped design the healthcare plan, but he insists the shift will be “a good thing” that helps control costs and improve consumer choices.
Employers cite Obamcare-related costs as part of the reason they are pulling back on heathcare insurance benefits.
Although President Obama said in spring 2013 that little would change for the 85% to 90% of Americans who already have healcare insurance coverage, only that “their insurance is stronger, better, more secure than it was before,” that does not appear to be the case at a growing number of companies. United Parcel Service (UPS, Fortune 500) told employees that health reform is contributing a 4% increase to the cost of coverage for 2014, while health care inflation adds another 7.25%. And Delta Air Lines (DAL, Fortune 500) said that Obamacare and inflation would increase costs by $100 million, though it only identifies $38 million as due to health reform.
Major Obamacare fees and taxes that employers say will raise their costs: The transitional reinsurance fee, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute fee, the health insurer fee, the ‘Cadillac’ tax, and the individual mandate. Aside from these items boosting health insurance costs for employers, experts point out that companies have been shifting more of the burden to workers for years.
Author cites (among other things) ThinkProgress’s Rebecca Leber who says that fast food chains, among the biggest critics of Obamacare, have reassessed the positions regarding workers and insurance. New estimates from several chains — including Wendy’s, Popeye’s, Jack in the Box, and Chipotle — indicate that “Obamacare will actually cost about 80 percent less than they originally warned,” she writes. The list includes companies whose franchises have already taken preemptive action to avoid providing their employees with health coverage, including one Nebraska Wendy’s chain.