Higher Education Faculty & ACA

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September 9th, 2014

ACAFor universities & colleges around the US, complying with the affordable care act seems to be causing many to pass on the costs of health insurance to their employees. According to a survey conducted by the College & University Professional Association for Human Resources, of the 370 institutions and 29 school systems polled, 20 percent have changed their benefits schemes in attempt to control costs under the ACA. 

The following changes have been made in reaction to the ACA’s rising costs:

  • 41 percent have increased employee’s share of premium costs.
  • 27 percent have increased out-of-pocket limits.
  • 25 percent increased in-network deductibles or dependent coverage costs.
  • 20 percent increased employees’ share of prescription drug costs.

These changes are similar to these seen last year, when higher education facilities first began reacting to the new healthcare law. Many colleges and universities began limiting adjunct hours to minimize the number of full-time employees on file.

HR personnel across many of America’s schools are still waiting to gauge employee participation in public insurance exchanges, while uncertainty remains around the rates of those exchanges as the health law moves forward.

One positive to rise from these changes is the adoption and expansion of wellness initiatives. Of the 20 percent of institutions that have implemented changes to their benefits schemes, some 36 percent have successfully implemented faculty wellness programs. A further 21 percent have begun using financial incentives to encourage healthier behaviors and ultimately contain costs.

60 percent of human resources chief officers who responded to the CUPAHR survey said they would consider implementing a wellness plan in the near future.

For those institutions that are yet to respond to the ACA’s impact on faculty health benefits, other options like self-funding can eliminate compliance obstacles, maintain control and flexibility, and continue to offer an attractive benefits scheme.

PayerFusion continues to offer Self-Funding Solutions to colleges & universities across the US, while our services are also available for international business with a large community of expatriated employees.

For more information contact our benefits advisors here or subscribe to our Health Insights newsletter here.