Massachusetts An Early Example
Earlier studies on Massachusetts’ employer-sponsored insurance market support Blavin’s findings. Between fall 2006 and fall 2009, a period of time which included adoption of the state’s health reforms, the rate of employer-sponsored insurance increased by 3%.
ACA Provisions Prevented Downward Direction
Incentives in the healthcare law have restrained the predicted drop-off in employer coverage. Provisions, such as ongoing preferential tax treatment of premiums through payroll deductions and the mandate to provide coverage for businesses with 50 or more workers, have persuaded employers to continue offering plans.
But Small Firms Are Left Out
One notable result from this survey is the nagging imbalance between large firms and small firms offering coverage. Although mechanisms like the small employer tax credit and the SHOP Marketplace are meant to close this gap, small businesses have not taken advantage. Outreach and education with small businesses represents a large opportunity for insurance coverage expansion. Small employers need information to understand provisions of the ACA in order to provide health insurance options to this growing workforce.
Michele Thornton, MBA
Insurance and Benefits Consultant