Health Insurance

Flaws seen in study of employer healthcare benefits

{mosads}Most people who buy coverage through the exchanges will get a government subsidy to help make insurance more affordable. But subsidies aren’t available to anyone whose company offers a healthcare plan that costs less than 9.5 percent of his or her income.

So the NFIB survey’s question is backward, the law’s supporters argue — employees would head to the exchanges if their companies quit offering healthcare, rather than employers dropping coverage because their employees aren’t taking it.

“The question really has no predictive value,” said Timothy Jost, a consumer advocate and law professor at Washington and Lee University.

And though the survey has gotten plenty of attention from conservatives and critics of the new law, it doesn’t predict much of a decline in employer-based coverage. It says only a modest number of businesses have quit offering healthcare since the new law took effect, and predicts that few will drop the benefit in the next year.

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