Ten percent of U.S. workers could lose access to employer-sponsored health insurance benefits in 2014, according to a new national study by Market Strategies International, a global market research and consulting firm headquartered in Livonia, Mich.
"A significant number of employers are telling us that, with health care reform, it may not benefit them competitively to offer employee health care benefits," said Susan McIntyre, senior vice president of the company's Health Care Division, in a media statement. "The reality is that companies of all sizes are reviewing their options and considering reductions."
Under health care reform, individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase insurance from health insurance exchanges, one-stop marketplaces that are now being set up in every state.
"Many small and large firms see the availability of coverage to employees through exchanges as the potential to exit the health benefits arena without leaving employees lacking in coverage options. For some large firms, in particular, there is a desire to pay to walk away," McIntyre stated.
Among companies now offering medical insurance benefits, 76 percent will continue to do so, 15 percent will offer coverage to some full-time employees and 9 percent will stop offering benefits, according to Market Strategies' report.