Most of the U.S. Congress’ staff will be transitioned to the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges and most are at least somewhat worried about how that will go.

The Congressional Management Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank for Congress issues, talked to 163 senior managers in the U.S. House and Senate about staff retention for the coming year. The survey respondents indicated that worries about salary freezes from budget cuts and transitioning employees to the exchanges were at the top of managers’ concerns for staff departures in 2014. Eighty-two percent of those managers thought salary freezes and 79% thought health care benefit changes were either “likely” or “very likely” to lead to “staffers leaving your office.”

In questions specifically related to health benefits on the exchange, managers said that 91% of their staff were worried about a change in their health benefits, 87% were worried about cost of health insurance and 82% were worried about “access to local health care providers.” The survey was conducted Nov. 18 – Dec. 6, 2013, before and just after the Healthcare.gov website problems were corrected for the “vast majority” of users, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The survey also showed that about four in 10 of the senior staff surveyed said they themselves plan to look for a job in the “next 12 months.”

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