Be thankful if your company provides health care now because it could soon be gone.
According to a survey by Towers Watson, a global benefits consultant company, nearly one in every ten mid-sized or “big” employers expects to discontinue offering health coverage by 2014 once the impact of federal health care reform’s excise tax takes effect.
The survey conducted on 368 mid-size to large companies found that nearly half of all respondents will rethink their long-term health care strategy in 2012 and many are uncertain how they will respond to the impact of state-based insurance exchanges in 2014.
"It is clear from our research that employers remain committed to providing employer-sponsored benefits for the foreseeable future," said Randall Abbott, senior health care consulting leader at Towers Watson. "2012 will ultimately be a defining year — the year some employers head down a path of bold and decisive actions, while others will wait and see. Whether choosing to pay or play, employers will need a strategic view for the future."
For years many employees have been reliant on their employers for health insurance; however, numbers have recently been decreasing. This summer a Gallop poll reported that in 2011 45 percent of American adults reported getting their health insurance from an employer, down from 45.8 percent in 2010.
The Gallup poll additionally shows that the amount of employers offering employer-based health insurance is down across all demographic groups in 2011 with the biggest decrease amongst adults earning less than $36,000 (down 16 percent) and African-Americans (down 15 percent).
The least likely two groups to have employer-based health insurance are seniors, who at the age of 65 qualify for Medicare and 18- to 26-year-olds, who were the least affected by the drop in employer coverage.
Now more than ever may be the best time to take preventative health measures because based on reports, who knows what the future of health care may hold.
To share story ideas with Danielle Wright, follow and tweet her at @DaniWrightTV.
(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)