SHRM’s Health Care Reform Poll: About Half of Organizations Not Dropping Coverage for Employees

Jun 28, 2010

SHRM’s Health Care Reform Poll: About Half of Organizations Not Dropping Coverage for Employees

SAN DIEGO – Almost one-half of organizations have decided not to drop health care coverage for employees as a result of the new health care reform law, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found in a new poll released today. Less than 2 percent of organizations surveyed said they have decided to drop coverage.

In its poll, “How Organizations are Responding to Heath Care Reform,” SHRM found that 46 percent of organizations surveyed this month would not be ending health care coverage for employees because such a move would lower employee morale and job satisfaction.

Organizations also cited competitiveness in recruiting and retaining employees and the fact that they value the health of their employees as reasons.

Federal legislation reforming health care coverage was passed in March. This is the first in a series of polls that SHRM will conduct to measure the implications on employers and employees.

“Early indications are that employers are taking a prudent and thoughtful review of the implications of the health care reform law on their plans,” says Michael Aitken, SHRM’s director of governmental affairs, “and that’s good news.”

Adds Mark Schmit, SHRM’s director of research: “HR professionals and business leaders are taking an analytical approach to the decisions that they are making as a result of the new legislation. This is a strategic issue in which organizations are clearly recognizing the need to consider the costs in both monetary and human capital terms.”

Cost savings is the primary reason organizations would be likely to drop health care coverage and pay resulting opt-out fines. But for half of the respondents, it’s too early to know whether they will take such action.

Of the organizations that have decided not to drop health care coverage, 34 percent made the decision without conducting a formal analysis to determine the impact that reform will have on their health care plans. Twelve percent did an analysis before concluding that they would not end coverage, while 22 percent are currently conducting an analysis.

Overall, 41 percent of organizations are likely and 23 percent are highly likely to pass along any increased costs of health care coverage to employees next year, regardless of whether the increases are related to reform or not, the survey showed.And 34 percent of organizations are considering alternative health care plans — health savings accounts, for example — for employees as a result of health care reform.

The health care reform poll surveyed 819 randomly selected HR managers and compensation and benefits professionals at private, public and government organizations with 50 or more employees. It was conducted June 16-23, and results were made available today.

For more information on poll findings, visit Follow SHRM research on Twitter at


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at


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