Employer Provided Healthcare Continues to Be a Strong Recruitment Tool

ASE and Priority Health survey finds employers’ need to recruit talent outweighs worries about the Affordable Care Act

<0> Employer Provided Healthcare Continues to Be a Strong Recruitment Tool </0>

American Society of EmployersKevin MarrsPhone: (248) 353-4500Fax: (248) 353-1224

A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Employers (ASE) and Priority Health suggests that an overwhelming majority of Michigan employers who provide healthcare coverage to their employees will continue to do so next year, even with the new government options available through Affordable Care Act (ACA). The survey, which included the results of 223 Michigan-based organizations, found that 98 percent of organizations surveyed will offer employer-sponsored health insurance coverage to employees for the 2014 plan year. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed plan to offer coverage in 2015, with 18 percent undecided.

“The fact that we see so few employers dropping coverage is not surprising. The need to attract and retain talent will always be critical for employers, and offering health benefits can still make the difference in attracting quality employees,” said Kevin Marrs, Director of Survey Services with the American Society of Employers. In fact, 69 percent of respondents believe providing healthcare coverage to be “very important” in their efforts to recruit.

Although employers will continue to provide health benefits, the data suggest that there is still strong concern about the cost. Forty percent of those responding reported that they are “extremely concerned” about the future costs of health care. For years employers have been striking a delicate balance between cutting healthcare costs and ensuring their healthcare plans remain effective tools for attracting and retaining the best people.

“Since nearly 100 percent of employers say that offering health benefits is important for attracting and retaining employees, it’s not surprising the future of healthcare has their attention,” said Marti Lolli, director of Health Care Reform at Priority Health. “It has our attention, too. That’s why we’re committed to providing the most up-to-date, understandable information and solutions to enable employers to continue to offer benefits to employees.”

Among the more common cost cutting approaches include the following:

It is unclear what specific impact the Affordable Care Act has already had on the cost containment strategies employers have implemented in the last 12 months. “While data from the survey suggest the ACA has had some impact, employers have been struggling under the weight of healthcare costs for some time and were likely to continue to shift more costs to employees,” said Marrs. Unfortunately, few employers feel that the Affordable Care Act will reduce or eliminate that problem. Sixty-four percent of participants disagreed that the Affordable Care Act will be an improvement over the current health system.

The American Society of Employers is a not-for-profit trade association servicing Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support on all matters affecting the employer-employee relationship. For over 100 years, ASE’s principal function has been to provide people-management information and services. The purpose of these services is to help organizations grow their bottom lines by growing the effectiveness of their people. More information about the American Society of Employers is available at .

Priority Health is an award-winning Michigan-based non-profit health plan nationally recognized for improving the health and lives of its members. It continues to lead the industry in engaging members in their health, delivering effective health and disease management programs, and working with physicians to improve health care outcomes and performance. Priority Health is one of only 20 health plans nationwide with wellness programs accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, an organization that also rated our plans among the best health plans in the nation. Priority Health was also named the benchmark plan by the State of Michigan for all individual and group plans to model. Priority Health offers a broad portfolio of health benefit options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Its network of health care providers features 95 percent of practicing physicians available in Michigan and more than 900,000 nationwide. For more information, visit .