The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans recently released its sixth survey in a series on how single employer plans are being affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 2015 Employer-Sponsored Health Care: ACA’s Impact focuses on the most important health care reform issues facing employers this year.

In total, 598 responses were received from human resources and benefits professionals and experts from over 20 industries. A number of key themes emerged from this year’s findings. 

General Focus and Reactions to ACA

Three in five survey respondents believe that the law has had a negative impact on their organization. Among those who said their organization’s view of the law has changed since enactment in 2010, more than three-quarters said that view has become more negative.

The biggest ACA challenge for most organizations is administration issues, even more so than cost, followed by plan design and communication concerns.

Over 92% of respondents stated that they are closely following Supreme Court cases related to ACA. Respondents most frequently cited the King v. Burwell case.

Providing Coverage


Despite administrative and cost issues, there is little uncertainty regarding future coverage. Over 95% of survey respondents stated that they are likely to provide health care benefits in five years.

Respondents overwhelmingly chose three reasons for maintaining coverage: to attract future talent, retain current employees and maintain/increase employee satisfaction and loyalty.

Cost Impact

Two-thirds of organizations have conducted an analysis to determine how ACA will affect 2015 health care costs. Among all organizations, 82% expect the law will increase their organization’s health care costs. Most organizations are projecting a 1-6% increase.

One-third of respondents expect 2016 to be the year that will produce the greatest cost increases because of ACA. One-quarter expect 2018—the year the excise tax on high-cost health plans takes effect—to be the year producing the greatest cost increases.


How has the ACA impacted your organization? Have you faced similar challenges to those of our respondents? Let us know! View full survey results, and stay tuned for additional reports, articles and blogs pertaining to the Affordable Care Act.

Keep up with ACA’s latest transformations on ACA University, a free member service offering the latest news and insights you need to know about. 

Justin Held, CEBS

Educational Program Specialist/Research Analyst at the International Foundation

Favorite Foundation service: Research Surveys

Benefits related topics that interests him most: Health care economics, the Affordable Care Act, apprenticeship training

Favorite Foundation Conference Event: Lowell Catlett’s economic updates

Personal Insight: Justin loves everything baseball, visiting and checking off ballparks as he travels. He can shake any bad mood caused by a Brewers’ loss by going for a good long run.

Recommended Posts

Understanding ERISA Liability in the Context of Pharmacy Benefits

Anne Newhouse

Fiduciary responsibility has always been a concern for retirement plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The language on the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Responsibilities webpage explains, “The primary responsibility of fiduciaries is to run the […]