In yet another recent entrant into the collection of studies on the potential impact of health reform, Avalere Health on June 20 issued an analysis that the employer-sponsored health insurance market is likely to remain fairly stable after 2014, when a number of key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act go into effect. Those provisions include the Medicaid expansion, new subsidies to purchase coverage through state-based health insurance exchanges, small business tax credits, penalties on certain employers who do not offer coverage or offer unaffordable coverage, the individual mandate, and the high-cost plan excise tax.
Certain segments of the market, such as firms employing low-wage workers and early retirees, "are likely to obtain coverage through the new health insurance exchanges in either 2014 or soon after because the ACA provides alternatives or new economies of scale for these segments that do not currently exist," the report concludes. "On the other hand, large employers are unlikely to stop offering coverage in the near-term as the benefit to dropping coverage may not outweigh the costs for both the employer and their employees."
While near-term changes in aggregate employer-sponsored insurance rates are unlikely, "longer term erosion - over 10 to 20 years - is possible under certain circumstances," the report adds.