OLYMPIA — There are many assumptions about what effects of the Obamacare will be. This series aims to separate myths from realities and answer questions surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
Myth: Employers are dumping health benefits because of Obamacare.
Reality: It’s true that Obamacare is raising costs on employers. And some are either passing those increased tabs to workers or are cutting back on benefits to keep costs under control.
Several employers — including UPS, Delta and University of Virginia — have recently cited Obamacare as a source of increased costs. UPS and University of Virginia will no longer provide benefits for spouses with coverage options elsewhere. Trader Joe’s andHome Depot are shifting part-time workers to the Obamacare exchanges.
Some companies are making major changes that aren’t directly related to Obamacare, but embrace the idea of health insurance exchanges. IBM and Time Warner are moving retirees to private exchanges, while Walgreens is shifting all its employees to a private exchange next year.
But Obamacare is not the only reason behind the benefits adjustments.
“An increase in costs of a few percent isn’t enough to cause widespread changes in benefits,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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