September 6, 2014
Evidence points to ObamaCare as an important factor in the shrinking workweek.
Last fall, White House economists offered up a simple gauge of ObamaCare’s impact on the workweek: the number of workers clocking just above the 30-hour-per-week threshold at which the employer mandate hits vs. the number with workweeks just shy of that mark.
If that ratio derived from the Current Population Survey of households were flat or rising, it would show that employers, as a whole, weren’t restructuring work hours to avoid ObamaCare’s costs. In fact, the ratio of regular 31- to 34-hour workers vs. 25- to 29-hour workers has been plunging — from 0.71 in December 2012 to a record low 0.55 in June.That shift isn’t apparent in the BLS part-time work data because the agency considers 35 hours or more to be full time.
via Low-Wage Workers See Hours Trimmed As ObamaCare Hits – Yahoo Finance.
July 3, 2014
Enrollment in employment-based health plans is declining faster than Congressional Budget Office analysts thought it would.CBO analysts predicted the number of people in group health plans would fall just 0.3 percent, or 500,000, this year. Actual group plan enrollment may have fallen 2 percent, to 177 million in the first quarter of 2014, from 180 million a year earlier.
via Benefit Revolution: Enrollment in Employment-based Health Plans is Declining About 7 Times Faster Than Government Projections.
June 27, 2014
Highlights from a Mercer briefing in Washington earlier this month include:• Last year’s slow growth of total employee health benefits costs a 16-year low will speed up in 2014, even after employers make a number of plan changes to reduce costs• Overall private employer coverage levels will remain essentially unchanged by the ACA in the near term.• ACA-driven reductions in employee working hours are real, but more prevalent among smaller employers and particular industry sectors• Private employers consistently see the 2018 “Cadillac” tax on high-cost benefits plans as their #1 complaint and are taking a number of early steps to avoid ever paying it.
via Employer Health Plan Sponsors: Running Harder, to Stay in Place | e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century.
June 12, 2014
CMS on Tuesday June 10 said “yes” to all 18 federally facilitated SHOP exchange states that asked to not implement employee choice in 2015, and confirmed that 14 FF-SHOP states did not ask for a transition so they will move ahead with the model next year.
May 16, 2014
This study provides plausibly causal estimates of the effect of public insurance coverage on the employment of non-elderly, non-disabled adults without dependent children (“childless adults”). We use regression discontinuity and propensity score matching difference-in-differences methods to take advantage of the sudden imposition of an enrollment cap, comparing the labor supply of enrollees to eligible applicants on a waitlist. We find enrollment into public insurance leads to sizable and statistically meaningful reductions in employment up to at least 9 quarters later, with an estimated size of from 2 to 10 percentage points depending upon the model used.
via The Effect of Public Insurance Coverage for Childless Adults on Labor Supply.
May 12, 2014
The paper, published by the Urban Institute, makes the case that this requirement will not lead to more people getting coverage because those firms that don’t provide it will likely opt for the penalty. Meanwhile, news outlets also report on how the health law has become an earnings’ report scapegoat as well as how premium calculations are causing small businesses confusion.
via New Paper Suggests Scrapping The Health Law’s Employer Mandate – Kaiser Health News.
April 17, 2014
The House of Representatives successfully included a valuable escape hatch from Obamacare in the recent “doc fix” legislation, but members are getting blow-back from critics who say the provision fixes and even expands Obamacare.
That is nonsense. The provision eliminated the cap on deductibles for small group plans, giving small businesses the freedom to offer high-deductible plans that may be paired with a Health Savings Account. This is a very good thing that gives them an option to offer more affordable insurance to employees.
Rory Cooper, a spokesman for House majority leader Eric Cantor, said, “This is another in a series of changes to Obamacare that the House has supported to help save Americans from being harmed by the law, and we’re glad to see the president signed it into law.”
via House Creates Escape Hatch from Obamacare | National Review Online.