ACA had negligible impact on employer-sponsored plans

Document titled "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act"

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The Affordable Care Act had a negligible impact on companies’ decisions to offer employer-sponsored insurance plans, according to a new study that echoes previous research on the subject.

More than 95 percent of employers either continued to provide ESI options or continued to not provide ESI options in 2014, according to a Heath Affairs study that examined 2014 data from the insurance component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

In fact, 1.1 percent of employers surveyed added coverage, the study found. Just 3.5 percent of employers ceased offering ESI post-ACA implementation, the authors calculated.

Previously, the Urban Institute found that the ACA may have even quelled the trend of declining ESI coverage: From 2000 to 2012, ESI coverage declined 11 percent. The ESI rate has since stabilized, according to the Health Affairs study.

And while the ACA premium hikes have become fuel for politicians seeking office in 2016, more than 155 million Americans get their health coverage from ESI, shielding them from marketplace premium volatility, FierceHealthPayer has reported.  

ESI coverage has been much more stable than experts had anticipated in the wake of the ACA: The system “is alive and well,” according to a senior executive at UnitedHealthcare. Employers also have reaped benefits from offering health plan options to their workforce via private exchanges--and so have employees who obtain tailored insurance products through such exchanges.