Obamacare Effect? Up to Half of Firms See Healthcare Costs Going Up 'Considerably'

The median respondent to two new business surveys by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York expects health coverage costs to jump by 10 percent next year, after a similar increase this year.

The change was not necessarily attributed to Obamacare (Affordable Care Act or ACA). The New York Fed divided responses among manufacturing and service firms.
“When queried about the percentage change in health coverage costs in 2014 — a change not necessarily attributable to the ACA — the median manufacturing firm reported a 10 percent increase and the median service firm, a 9 percent increase,” the N.Y. Fed reported.
Asked about the expected change in 2015, the median respondent in both surveys predicted a 10 percent increase.
Respondents were asked for a qualitative assessment of the ACA’s net effect on health benefit costs per worker, both this year and next year.
“In general, manufacturers were more likely than service firms to say that the act increased costs; both types of firms expected the upward effect to be more pronounced in 2015 than in 2014,” the New York Fed said.
Only 20 percent of service firms and 35 percent of manufacturers reported that it had “increased costs ‘a lot’ this year”.
However, half of the manufacturing respondents and a third of those in the service sector said that they expected it to increase costs considerably in 2015.
Responses to these questions did not generally vary much by firm size, the N.Y. Fed said.

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