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Health care reform worries

by Rich Vurva

Rich VurvaBy overwhelming numbers, people in the industrial supply industry were opposed to the health care reform bill signed into law by President Obama earlier this spring. In a survey sent to Industrial Supply magazine readers in late March, 85% of respondents said they
disapproved of the bill.

Most are worried about what it will do to their company's health insurance costs and what effect it will have on the nation's economy as a whole. Eighty-three percent believe passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will cause their company's health insurance costs to increase, and 84% believe the new law will hurt the overall economy.

Asked what type of insurance coverage their company currently provides employees, half of the respondents to the survey said they participate in PPO plans (50%), while a smaller percent offer HMOs (20%) or are self-insured (14%). Fewer than 10% offer health savings accounts (HSAs).

One reason industrial supply participants are concerned about the impact that the health reform bill will have on costs is because their companies had been forced
to pass along rising insurance costs to employees even before passage of the new legislation. Forty-one percent said they changed to a policy with higher deductibles in the last 12 months, while 32% switched to higher co-payments

Many companies are taking a wait-and-see approach to policy changes for now until they are certain what will happen to rates charged by their current insurance providers. Fifty-one percent said they don't know what changes their company expects to make in the next 12 months, but at least some of the higher costs will likely be passed on to employees. Twenty percent of the respondents anticipate increasing employee contributions, 14% expect to change to a policy with a higher deductible, while 13% anticipate raising co-payments.

For a complete summary of our findings, click here.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2010 issue of Industrial Supply magazine. Copyright 2010, Direct Business Media.

Posted from: James Palm, 5/23/10 at 10:37 PM CDT
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