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2014

Few Employers Are Very Familiar With Health Care Reform

- Those unlikely to offer health benefits in 2014 tend to have higher levels of familiarity

- Many are actively educating themselves and weighing options

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LIVONIA, Mich., Jan. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As provisions of the ''Affordable Health Care for America Act'' continue to come into effect, there is a tremendous need for employers across the country to learn about its impact on their businesses and employees, according to the results of "Health Care Reform 360 degree," a new national study by Market Strategies International, the highly-regarded global market research and consulting firm.  

"While it is not surprising that a small minority of employers consider themselves very familiar with Health Care Reform overall, what is interesting is the types of employers in this group," said Susan McIntyre, senior vice president in the company's Health Care Division.  "We would expect, and have found, that larger companies which typically have dedicated benefits staff and consultants tend to be more familiar with the law than smaller firms.  What is surprising is that employers who are unlikely to offer health benefits in 2014 also tend to have higher levels of familiarity.  This indicates that a number of employers are actively educating themselves and their companies and weighing their options very thoughtfully.  Our study is currently indicating an estimated 10% net decline in access to employer-sponsored benefits in 2014, but this number could rise over time as employers become more educated about the law's impact on their bottom line."

What the study also shows is:

  • There is low familiarity overall with Health Care Reform among an estimated one-third of employers
  • Familiarity is highest among larger employers, those currently offering benefits and those planning to drop or not offer coverage in 2014

"So far, familiarity with specific reform provisions is related to the implementation timeline and media focus," continued McIntyre.  

Provisions of the law that employers are most familiar with:

  • The dependent child age extension
  • Prohibition of exclusions based on pre-existing conditions
  • The employer mandate itself
  • The elimination of lifetime dollar maximums

"The opportunity for education outreach is high for health insurers, brokers and consultants as employers begin or continue to educate themselves on the various aspects of the law and consider their options," said McIntyre.  "Many employers are looking for hard numbers and solid advice on what impact Health Care Reform will have on their bottom line as well as on their employees."  

The Health Care Reform 360 degree study offers additional significant insight into employers' plans for health care coverage, sources of information, attitudes and concerns and opportunities for insurers and brokers.  Full results include a segmentation of US firms on various aspects of coverage intentions and Health Care Reform.   For information about obtaining the full study, contact Susan McIntyre at 503-416-8515 or susan.mcintyre@marketstrategies.com.

About the Health Care Reform 360 degree Study

Market Strategies International's Health Care Reform 360 degree study is a multi-dimensional, multi-phased research program that illuminates health care reform attitudes, awareness, perceptions and behaviors among multiple health care stakeholder groups.  For this study, Market Strategies conducted a Web survey between October 27 and November 8, 2010 using the Research Now Web panel with a national sample of 1,065 adults.  Qualified respondents were employee health benefits decision makers or influencers at companies with at least 2 FTEs.  The sample was stratified by firm size (number of FTEs) and health benefits status (offer/not) and weighted to the overall U.S. employer benefits market based on population estimates provided in the 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation HRET Employer Health Benefits Survey.  Due to its opt-in nature, this online panel (like most others) does not yield a random probability sample of the target population.  As such, it is not possible to compute a margin of error or to statistically quantify the accuracy of projections.

Market Strategies International

Market Strategies International is a market research and consulting firm specializing in communications, energy, financial services, healthcare and technology.  Our expertise includes Customer Experience Management, Product Development and Optimization, Segmentation, Messaging and Communications Testing and Brand Development and Positioning.  Founded in 1989, Market Strategies is the 17th largest research firm in the U.S. according to "Honomichl Top 50," published in the June 2010 issue of Marketing News.  Visit www.marketstrategies.com for more information.

SOURCE Market Strategies International



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