Thursday, May 1, 2014

Will Employer Health Insurance Go Away? Don’t Bet On It

Here is another opinion on the future of group benefits (see here for prediction released today that 90% of large employers will dump employees into the Obamacare Exchanges by 2020).  This is from David McCann at a 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers report stated, “In the seven years since Massachusetts enacted its law, the number of people covered by insurance through the workplace increased by about 1 percentage point, running counter to the rest of the nation, which saw employer-based insurance decline by 5.7 percentage points.” 
As that statement indicates, a gradual shift away from employer-sponsored health insurance has been playing out for some time. But predictions that, within six years, 80 percent or 90 percent of private-sector workers will not have employer coverage are wildly speculative. 
On the other hand, I wouldn’t bet my savings that such a scenario won’t come about, either. If a few huge, iconic employers that do business across multiple, disparate markets, like General Electric, Berkshire Hathaway, IBM and DuPont, have the gumption to take the plunge, it’s easy to imagine that corporate sheep would follow. ...