Despite the potential for increased costs and more regulatory red tape, 82 percent of companies recently surveyed by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. plan to continue providing health care coverage to their workers when the employee mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect on January 1, 2014.

Surprisingly, none of the 100 human resources executives surveyed by Challenger said that their companies plan to drop health coverage when the mandate begins. Only 2 percent of respondents indicated that their companies do not currently offer health coverage and have no plans to add coverage beginning in 2104.

While the employer mandate is just six months away from kicking in, about one in ten (11.1 percent) said their companies have not reached a decision on health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

“It appears that concerns about companies’ nationwide dropping health plans may have been premature. Certainly, some companies will decide it is more economical to pay the penalties than provide healthcare, but for those that have been offering coverage voluntarily for many years, it is unlikely that the new law will prompt them to suddenly stop, ” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

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