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2012 Deloitte Survey of U.S. Employers

Opinions about the U.S. health care system, ACA, and plans for employee health benefits


U.S. employers are concerned about continued rising health care costs; however, they are unaware of solutions that could improve the safety and quality of care, and simultaneously reduce cost. While employer-sponsored health benefits are not likely to disappear, changes that shift financial risk to employees are certain.

These are among key findings in Deloitte’s 2012 survey of employers with 50+ workers offering health benefits. The survey explores employers’ opinions about the U.S. health care system, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and anticipated strategies for employee health benefits coverage and cost containment. Participants include C-suite executives and human resource (HR) professionals.

Survey results also reveal:

  • Employers believe that the U.S. health care system underperforms. Thirty-five percent of employers surveyed grade system performance as an “A” or a “B,” while 64 percent give it a “C,” “D,” or “F.” Employers hold favorable views about the system’s clinical capabilities and medical innovation; unfavorable views center on its wastefulness and high costs.
  • Employers believe that they have a “good” understanding of the Affordable Care Act; HR professionals more so than C-suite executives. Familiarity with the individual mandate is the highest (72 percent); understanding of delivery system changes in ACA is low. Most employers say their company is “not well prepared” to implement the 2014 provisions of the ACA.
  • Thirty percent think the ACA is “a good start,” 59 percent “a step in the wrong direction.” There was a wide range of opinions reported, from Human Resources who responded more positively to C-suite respondents who think it's a step in the wrong direction.
  • To manage health care costs, increased cost-sharing with employees is considered the optimal strategy. Health insurances exchanges and direct contracting with provider organizations are viable benefits strategies, as well.
  • When considering health care related strategies to reduce the deficit, employers support reforms in medical liability, Medicare and Medicaid, and repeal/delay of the ACA. Across-the-board cuts in government spending are considered a higher priority than changes to the health care system.

To read the complete survey findings, please download the PDF attachment.

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