The advent of government-mandated insurance exchanges could spur some companies to drop insurance for their workers, according to an Associated Press report published in the Chicago Sun-Times. About 20 percent of companies responding to a July survey by benefits consulting firm Towers Watson said they were uncertain what benefits they would offer after 2014, when health insurance exchanges are to be up and running according to the timetable set by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
In June, a Mercer survey of large and small employers found 8 percent said they were likely or very likely to drop health benefits for employees when the exchanges launch despite incurring fines for doing so. Will it be the start of a trend away from employer-provided health benefits? If one employer does it, others likely will follow, Paul Fronstin, a senior research associate at the Employee Benefit Research Institute, told the Associated Press.