Some have argued that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) would erode employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) by providing incentives for employers to stop offering coverage. Others have claimed that most businesses would face increased costs as a result of reform, or even that the uncertainties surrounding the impact of health reform are hampering the economic recovery. A new study, however, finds that the effects on employer coverage and employer health care spending would actually be small.
The paper, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and prepared by Urban Institute researchers using their Health Insurance Policy Simulation Model, estimates how the ACA would affect ESI and employer costs. To investigate the effects of health reform on ESI, they simulate the ACA as if fully implemented in 2010 and contrast the results with the pre-reform baseline estimates for the year.
Among the researchers’ findings:
The brief’s finding that the ACA will have little overall effect on ESI coverage is similar to the findings of the Congressional Budget Office and runs counter to some predictions of a major decline in ESI because of the ACA.