Ninety percent of large employers are looking for ways to avoid the so-called "Cadillac tax" on employee insurance plans deemed too cushy by the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study.
That will hurt both employers and employees, the nonpartisan American Health Policy Institute said of its study.
The tax won't take effect until 2018, but employers already are making moves to prevent having to pay it, and that means curtailing plans that offer better benefits.
Unions and business owners alike oppose the tax.
AHPI said it conducted two surveys, one in June and one in September, since repeal of Obamacare is an issue in the 2016 presidential election.
Among other findings, the group said:
- More than 30 percent of large employers will have at least one plan affected by the tax in 2018, and almost half who didn't said they would have such a plan by 2023.
- Almost 19 percent are curtailing or eliminating employee contributions of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to avoid the tax.
- Almost 13 percent are curtailing or eliminating employee contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) to avoid the tax.
- Of those who said they would likely cut their "Cadillac" plans, 71 percent said they would not likely increase wages to correspond to the cuts, while 16 percent said they would.
"The excise tax continues to be an important health policy issue and is going to impose real costs on both employees and employers alike," according to the report. "Some health care policy theorists say that the excise tax will curtail health care expenditures. Health care policy realists understand that solving the excise tax facing many employers as well as making changes to future payment policies are necessary to stave off a potential collapse of the employer-sponsored health insurance."
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