Published April 28, 2014
Many companies have reported they will have to raise prices on their goods and services to be complaint with the Affordable Care Act, but a new survey finds consumers don’t mind the higher price tags if they help provide workers access to insurance.
A report from Bankrate.com (RATE) finds nearly two-thirds of Americans (68%) are okay with a business adding a nominal surcharge of 25 cents to each bill in order to help pay for employees’ health insurance. Support for an insurance surcharge is highest among 18-to-29 year olds at 64%. On the other end, 39% of those ages 65 and up are OK with the additional charge.
Under the Affordable Care Act, every individual in the country has to have insurance by March 31, or they will face a fine of $95 a year or 1% of their annual income for failing to comply.
Come 2015, businesses with 100 or more full-time workers will have to offer them coverage or face a fine of $2,000 per worker per year for failing to comply with the law under the employer mandate. The mandate will apply to businesses with between 50 and 99 workers come 2016.
The Bankrate.com Health Insurance Pulse was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among 1,000 adults via phone.
Doug Whiteman, Bankrate.com insurance analyst, says the results may seem counterintuitive considering analysts are projecting double-digit hikes in premiums next year under the law. This year, the Department of Health and Human Services says the average premium will be $328 a month, pre-subsidy.
“Our health-care system in this country is primarily built on people receiving coverage where they work, and Americans understand and realize that this is the cost of doing business,” Whiteman says.
And its good news for business owners that decide to offer care, some for the first time because of the law.
“That money has to come from somewhere,” he says. “The findings were surprising, because there was an assumption that people wouldn’t go for these things. The fees are small and for most consumers it’s not a big deal.”
Overall however, the survey shows only 13% of respondents say their insurance situation has improved compared to one year ago under ObamaCare. Those reporting higher monthly costs outnumbered lower spending by four to one.
Those who want to repeal the president’s signature legislation edged out those who want to keep the law in place, as is, by a rate of 45% to 44%.
As of mid-April, 8 million Americans had signed up for care via state and federal exchanges, the president announced. Open enrollment period for 2015 kicks off in November.