Tuesday, January 28, 2014

CEO's Deciding About Health Insurance

This was a foreseen consequence of the Affordable Care Act nearly four years ago. Especially if you've been the CFO or another executive who sees the cost of insurance premiums on the company's bottom line. Now McKinsey and others are catching up to the potential of big savings if they pay the tax penalty for not providing health insurance for their employees. One article cites the statistic that ATT would pay $600 million in penalties but save $1.8 billion if they drop the employee benefit. A small employer with 100 employees could save $500K, which might bump their net margin 50% or a full 5% margin.

Reminder: premiums had more than doubled in 10 years prior to the Affordable Care Act, and projected to increase even more in the next ten years. Fewer companies were going to be able to afford health insurance. If an hourly employee is making $10/hr and works full-time, and has the family on the company's plan, the cost of the insurance is 80% of their annual wage. If the company foots 60% of the premium, this one benefit alone makes the cost of an employee at 150% of wages. Add medicare and social security employer contributions and it's not hard to see that the many companies hesitate to add to their payroll.

Perhaps with a rebounding economy driving more business, and no costly benefits...unemployment will drop.

More people might have jobs. ACA in states that created exchanges might provide options for people to secure healthcare access.

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