Big companies think healthcare reform will raise their costs, and many employees will see health benefits changes as a result, according to a new study from benefits consultant Towers Watson.
The benefits consultant surveyed 661 companies this month and found that 94 percent believe the reform law passed by Congress earlier this year will raise costs. A total of 88 percent plan to pass increases onto employees, and 74 percent anticipate reducing health benefits and programs.
"While many employers have not yet assessed the full impact that reform will have on their businesses, they do realize that the responsibility to hold costs down will fall primarily on their shoulders," said Towers Watson North American Health and Group Benefits Leader Mark Maselli in a statement.
Containing healthcare costs was an essential or high priority for 96 percent of survey respondents, who were asked how important specific reform goals were to their organization.
Nearly three quarters of the companies surveyed expect to keep providing subsidized health coverage for their active workers. But the survey also found that 43 percent of employers that offer retiree benefits plan to reduce or eliminate them.
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