While the penalties associated with the shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were delayed until 2015, many key elements of the new law went into effect in 2014 — most notably the opening of public health exchanges and the individual mandate requiring all individuals to obtain health coverage or face a tax penalty. Mercer’s latest Health Care Reform Survey — the seventh conducted since 2008 — assesses how employer plans and open enrollment results have been affected. The survey includes responses from 767 US employers.
“With most employers waiting to expand coverage eligibility, in 2014 enrollment growth came down to whether employees who had chosen to forgo coverage in the past would respond to the individual mandate,” said Tracy Watts, Mercer’s leader for US health care reform. “That’s a small number of employees to begin with, and what we discovered is that the initial tax penalty wasn’t big enough to convince many to sign up.”
Learn about enrollment trends and the issues US employers are facing as reform measures take effect.