Some notable findings regarding 2014 employer health benefits intentions:
- Among companies currently offering health care benefits (covering 92 percent of all workers):
* 76 percent will continue to do so
* 15 percent will offer coverage to some full-time employees
* 9 percent will stop doing so
- Among companies currently not offering health care benefits (covering 8 percent of all workers):
* 28 percent will begin to offer them in 2014
* 19 percent will begin to offer coverage to some full-time employees
* 53 percent will not begin to offer health care benefits
- Taken in total, there will be an estimated 10% net decline in access to employer-sponsored health benefits as of January 2014. (13 percent of U.S. workers will lose employer-sponsored benefits; 3 percent will gain employer-sponsored benefits.)
McIntyre added, "Many small and large firms see the availability of coverage to employees through Exchanges as the potential to exit the health benefits arena without leaving employees lacking in coverage options. For some large firms, in particular, there is a desire to pay to walk away.
"Beyond the planned exodus by some firms is the potential for other companies to drastically restructure their workforce," said McIntyre. "There will be strong economic and competitive forces driving some employers away from full-time employees, in favor of more seasonal workers, part-time workers or contractors. Looking at beginning or increasing off-shoring is another option."