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ACA doesn't affect health plans at large companies

ADP report: Participation, employer contributions unchanged since 2013

Employer-sponsored health plans remain strong five years into the Affordable Care Act, according to the latest health benefits report from the ADP Research Institute.

In 2015, 93 percent of full-time workers were eligible for employer-sponsored coverage, a 2 percent increase over 2013. With 3 in 4 electing to purchase coverage, the participation rate of 69 percent remained unchanged from 2013, the report found.

The average employer contribution, 75 percent, also remains unchanged from 2013 to 2015, ADP said. Premiums for single plans ($486) and family plans ($1,216) increased roughly 6 percent over the same two-year period.

ADP also found a 6 percent rise in the number of employers offering a high deductible health plan with a health savings account, from 29 percent to 35 percent, and a 6 percent rise in the number of employees contributing to a health savings account, from 26 percent to 32 percent.

The most noticeable difference from 2011 to 2015 concerns full-time employees under the age of 26. This group has had the largest increase in eligibility since the ACA went into effect, at 8.5 percent, but also the largest drop in participation, at 12.6 percent, according to the report.

This is likely the result of the ACA's extended dependent coverage, which allows young adults to remain on their parents' insurance plans until the age of 26, ADP said. Of the 16.4 million adults who have obtained insurance under the ACA, 3.4 million are young adults who stayed on their parents' plans, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

ADP examined four years' worth of data from 200 U.S. firms with at least 1,000 employees. All told, the data set included about 500,000 employees, according to the report.

The findings of the ADP report are consistent with a recent survey from benefits consulting company Mercer, which found that the ACA has had little impact on employer-sponsored health plans at large companies.

For more:
read the ADP report (.pdf)

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