A new survey of Fortune 100 companies finds that the health care overhaul, contrary to the claims of its authors, created some perverse incentives for employers to drop workers from company insurance plans.
Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee surveyed the top 100 companies about how much they spent on health care — a total of 71, covering 5.9 million employees, responded. The results suggested it would be far more attractive for companies to drop workers from those plans than keep them.
Even after paying a penalty of $2,000 per employee, the companies stand to save $28.6 billion in 2014 alone by shifting employees to health insurance exchanges governed by strict federal standards. The companies stand to save more than $422 billion over the first 10 years of the law by doing this.
“The penalties for the employers who drop coverage are very low, and the subsidies for the workers in the exchanges are very high,” said James Capretta, with the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
If the companies indeed take this step, the move would fly in the face of pledges by the law’s backers, including President Obama, that U.S. workers would not lose their employer-provided health plans.
Neil Trautwein, vice president of the National Retail Federation, said that “in a pure dollars and cents standpoint, it could not be more clear — you save a lot of money, hundreds of millions of dollars for some of these companies, by no longer providing coverage.”