Originally posted by Dan Cook on https://www.benefitspro.com

More than half of private companies surveyed about their readiness for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act said they were already in compliance with the law.

Moreover, three-quarters of them considered themselves prepared to meet the law’s requirements when they become the law of the land.

That’s the conclusion from a PwC (aka PriceWaterhouseCoopers) survey of 210 large private employers, nearly all of which offer their employees health coverage.

While the survey revealed a modest level of uncertainty among companies about just how they will comply, overall, private employers expressed confidence in their ability to offer employees a health plan that meets the letter of the law.

The PwC survey was conducted prior to the administration’s announcement that it would postpone for a year the penalty portions of the PPACA that apply to large employers.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • 56 percent of companies already comply with the PPACA.
  • 72 percent say they are prepared to comply.
  • 35 percent believe they are well prepared.
  • 74 percent say the cost of coverage to employees already meets the 9.5 percent-or-less of household income standard the law will require.
  • 70 percent don’t think the act will help them reduce the cost of coverage.
  • 58 percent say paying for employee health coverage hasn’t slowed their growth.

The survey revealed that many companies (70 percent) plan to take their own measures to try to control health care coverage costs, including shifting more of the cost to employees. That could lead them to run afoul of the 9.5-percent standard, warned PwC’s Ken Esch, a partner with PwC’s Private Company Services practice.

“Companies that plan to shift more healthcare costs to employees should be careful to calculate whether such cost-shifting could cause the company to fail the PPACA’s affordability test,” cautions Esch. “Companies that offer wellness incentives also should remember to take those incentives into account when calculating the minimum value of their healthcare coverage plans.”