SOURCE: UHY Advisors

UHY Advisors

UHY Advisors

June 21, 2012 11:53 ET

With Supreme Court Decision Pending, Texas Businesses Eye Health Insurance Deductible Increases & Coverage Reductions: UHY/TAB Survey

Only 45% Say They're Prepared for Affordable Care Act Changes

HOUSTON, TX and AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Jun 21, 2012) - Texas businesses have "kept their power dry" while waiting for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the federal Affordable Care Act, but many expect to see higher deductibles and reduced coverage for their employees, according to a survey of Texas businesses by UHY Advisors (UHY) and the Texas Association of Business (TAB).

Although three-fourths of survey respondents said they are very familiar or somewhat familiar with the Affordable Care Act, they split almost evenly (45% vs. 47%) on whether or not their organizations are prepared for possible changes to business operations required under the Affordable Healthcare Act if the individual mandate is upheld by the Supreme Court. Forty-two percent of respondents said they don't yet know whether major changes in their employee health plans will be required.

The survey was conducted online between June 8 and June 20, 2012 and includes responses from 278 Texas businesses, including TAB members and UHY Advisors clients across the state. Respondent companies range in size from one to more than 5,000 employees with a majority (59%) having 50 or fewer employees, and almost one-third (32%) between 50 and 500 employees. These results approximate the composition of Texas businesses; according to the Small Business Association, there are 391,010 firms with fewer than 500 workers, 342,500 of them employing fewer than 20. There are 5,402 Texas companies which employ more than 500. A majority of respondent companies (92%) provide employer-sponsored health insurance to their employees.

If health plan changes are required, half of respondents (48%) anticipate increasing deductibles, and just under one-third (31%) expect coverage to be reduced; only 11% expect to eliminate coverage. Employers ranked cost increases as their primary consideration in healthcare reform, followed by new taxes for business, new reporting requirements, and employee health and welfare.

"Texas employers have not hit the panic button on healthcare reform," said UHY Advisors' Healthcare Practice Principal Randy Zarin. "They are watching with a skeptical eye for a firm direction to emerge from the judicial process, after which they'll analyze their coverage options in a businesslike way and take the steps needed to maintain operations on an efficient, profitable basis," Zarin said.

"Texas businesses and their employees recognize that the healthcare insurance system defined by the coming Supreme Court decision will be a major factor in shaping their future financial viability and strength," said Bill Hammond, TAB President and CEO. "Good healthcare coverage is a top priority for most companies and they are prepared to take whatever action is needed to achieve a fair and cost-effective solution."

Three-fourths of respondents (74%) reported that the costs of their companies' healthcare plans increased in the past year, almost half (45%) by more than the previous year's rate increase. Accordingly, 70% of respondent companies either changed insurance carriers or solicited competitive bids, but stayed with the previous carrier. In a large majority of instances (72%), the president or owner of the company is personally involved in insurance coverage and carrier-selection decisions.

UHY Advisors is leading independent financial, tax, and business consulting services provider to mid-sized and larger companies in Texas, with offices in Houston, Dallas and 12 other offices in the U.S.

Founded in 1922, the Texas Association of Business is a broad-based, bipartisan organization representing more than 3,000 small and large Texas employers and 200 local chambers of commerce.

UHY Advisors TX, LLC (f/k/a UHY Mann Frankfort Stein & Lipp Advisors, LP) conducts operations in Texas as a subsidiary of UHY Advisors, Inc. The firm also has an office in Dallas. UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities have nearly 1,000 professionals providing services from offices throughout the United States. UHY Advisors is ranked as one of the Top 25 professional services firms providing tax and business consulting services in the country by Accounting Today. Attest services are performed through an alternative practice structure with UHY LLP, a licensed independent CPA firm in Texas.

UHY Advisors, Inc. and UHY LLP are U.S. members of Urbach Hacker Young International Limited, a UK company, and form part of the international UHY network of legally independent accounting and consulting firms. "UHY" is the brand name for the UHY international network. For additional information, please visit their website at www.uhy-us.com.

UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities are not licensed CPA firms. UHY LLP is a licensed independent CPA firm that performs attest services.

Texas Business Healthcare Survey Summary

How familiar are you with the Affordable Care Act?
Very familiar 18.3%
Somewhat familiar 57.9%
How prepared do you consider your organization for possible changes to business operations as a result of the Affordable Care Act?
Very prepared 9.4%
Somewhat prepared 35.3%
Not prepared 34.5%
Not at all prepared 12.6%
Do you expect to make major changes in your employee health insurance plan during your next renewal?
Yes 21.9%
No 35.6%
Don't know yet 42.4%
If yes, what do you anticipate?
Increasing deductibles 47.5%
Reducing coverage 30.9%
Modifying tax free programs 13.7%
Eliminating coverage 11.2%
Increasing coverage 4.7%
Reducing deductibles 2.2%
Other 35.6%
Do you expect any employees to drop company-sponsored coverage when other options are available?
Yes 21.2%
No 27.7%
Don't know yet 51.1%

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