Today Marsh & McLennan Companies (the parent company of Mercer) published “Health Reform and American Businesses: Critical Partner for Success - A Public Policy Point of View.” This point of view demonstrates how important it is that the collective voice of employers be heard during the ACA ‘repeal and replace’ discussions and planning. This is especially important when you consider the number of Americans receiving health insurance benefits through their employer is 16 times that of the ACA market, 61% of covered Americans get their health coverage through an employer, and employers spent $668 billion on health benefits in 2015 – more than federal spending on Medicare.
The paper contains four specific recommendations for policy makers:
1: Avoid policies that merely shift costs to private payers and adopt policies that address the underlying causes of healthcare cost growth
Cost shifting is not the way to create a sustainable and affordable healthcare market
Congress should maintain Medicaid expansion and funding levels
2: Maintain the favorable tax treatment of employer-sponsored benefits
The employee tax exclusion benefits American workers
3: Update Health Savings Accounts (HSA) rules to make them more flexible
- HSAs promote responsible use of health resources, but outdated regulations prevent achieving their potential
4: Create a “President’s Healthcare Leadership Council” to drive transformative change and boost transparency
Innovations such as value-based care have proven successful, but real progress will require wide-spread adoption
MMC’s “Health Reform and American Businesses: Critical Partner for Success,” is publicly available and can be downloaded at https://www.mercer.us/our-thinking/health-reform-and-american-businesses.html.