Milwaukee Businesses Likely to Cut Hours, Terminate Health Plans due to Obamacare

MacIver News Service | September 27, 2013

[Milwaukee, Wisc…] Obamacare will lead to multiple Milwaukee businesses either cutting hours or eliminating health coverage according to a new survey by HCTrends, a forum committed to promoting meaningful dialogue on the health care challenges facing the provider and business communities.

In their annual survey of Milwaukee businesses, which began 11 years ago, they found that 29 percent of businesses with less than 20 employees and 19 percent of businesses with 20 to 99 employees are considering dropping their health care plans as a result of Obamacare. Multiple nationwide companies have already announced in recent months that they are making changes to the health insurance they offer or are planning on cutting worker hours.

This case holds true in Milwaukee where 18 percent of employers said that they may cut hours to avoid having to pay for health insurance or a fine from the federal government.

Businesses with more than 500 employees showed that they are more likely to cut hours than terminate their health plans. Nearly 40 percent of these employers said that they may cut hours once the Affordable Care Act goes into full affect.

Employees that lose employer-sponsored health insurance or no longer qualify because of reduced hours will have to purchase health insurance through the exchange setup by Obamacare. Premiums in Wisconsin are expected to increase by 51 percent on average in the exchange, but could be as high as 125 percent.

The HCTrends survey was of more than 200 businesses with more than 156,000 employees in the Milwaukee area. Full results from the Greater Milwaukee Health Care Benefits Survey will be released in October.

Individuals may begin enrolling in the Obamacare exchange this coming Tuesday, and everyone is required by federal law to have health insurance by January 1, 2014.

More information regarding the health care survey is available here.