Large U.S. employers are keeping health care costs down despite concerns over Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates, according to a new report by the ADP Research Institute.
An analysis of 2013 and 2015 health care cost data found that:
Premiums are rising slowly. Since 2011, total premiums (including the employer and employee portions) rose about 2% per year, a relatively modest rate compared to the previous decade.
This could be partially due to more employers offering high-deductible plans with higher co-pays.
Participation is holding steady. Eligibility rates increased from 2013 as the economy improved and employers began to offer coverage to more workers to ensure compliance with the ACA employer mandate. Even so, the percentage of eligible employees electing coverage decreased, possibly because many employees now have alternate forms of coverage. Overall participation rates remained relatively unchanged.
“Companies may be struggling with ACA compliance and reporting requirements, but five years in, this study reveals the underlying cost trend for large employers remains modest,” said ADP analyst Christopher Ryan.