There is no doubt that large employers want to offer health benefits to their employees. It does not seem to bother them that each employee is not free to spend his own money on health insurance that suits his and his family’s needs.
The effect of Obamacare on these benefits has yet to be determined. At one extreme, an analyst at S&P Capital IQ concluded earlier this year that 90 percent of employees working at companies in the S&P 500 stock index would lose their employer-based health benefits by 2020. These are the largest companies in the United States.
Nevertheless, these employers continue to commit themselves resolutely to employer-based benefits. In the next few weeks, I will be a guest at two events where large employers will promote how important health benefits are to them. Tomorrow, the Bipartisan Policy Center will host a conference titled Building Better Health: Innovative Strategies from America’s Business Leaders – A Report from the CEO Council on Health and Innovation. Present will be the CEOs of Coca-Cola (Muhtar Kent), Verizon Communications (Lowell C. McAdam), and Bank of America (Brian T. Moynihan), among others.
In October, the Business Roundtable will host a conference which will promote its recent report, Driving Innovation in the Health Care Market Place. This 108-page report discusses evidence that large employers are successful at managing health costs. Much of the evidence promoted comes from so-called “wellness programs.” For example:
Through an innovative program called “Your Health Matters,” AT&T provides the resources and education to help participants grow from health awareness to health improvement. We strive to reduce the risk of chronic illness by increasing engagement with and adherence to clinical protocols.