According to a recent survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 84% of U.S. employers report they are very likely to or definitely will continue to provide health insurance for full-time employees after state exchanges open in 2014, in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The post-election survey, administered in December 2012, got responses from 593 plan administrators, trustees and organizational representatives from a range of companies based on size, sector and region.

A similar survey, conducted by IFEBP after the Supreme Court's PPACA-upholding ruling in June, also revealed a majority committed to continuing employer-sponsored health plans, but nearly three-fourths at that time said they were in a "wait and see" mode in terms of health care planning until after the elections. Now, 59% say they are confident in being more definitive about maintaining coverage.

"With President Obama's re-election confirming that the PPACA will survive, we saw a 7% increase in organizations planning on providing health care benefits from when we asked our members following the Supreme Court's ruling in June," says IFEBP CEO Michael Wilson. "This research showed that 1% is saying they definitely won't, a bit lower than we saw in June."

Seventy-seven percent of respondents state they are well along in terms of keeping up with PPACA provisions, and 60% say they are either very or extremely far along in preparing for future ones.

The biggest reasons IFEBP members cite for maintaining coverage in 2014 are: To maintain/increase employee satisfaction and loyalty (40%); To retain current employees (24%); To keep in line with a collective bargaining agreement (21%).

Among employers' other PPACA-related plans, IFEBP finds most companies, for the most part, aren't dramatically adjusting hiring plans for the next two years, as 48% report they have no plans to add or reduce workforce. A much smaller percentage will reduce staff due to PPACA costs (11%), reduce hiring to stay under the 50-employee PPACA threshold (5%) or add staff to help keep their health care plan compliant with PPACA (4%).

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