November 2013 Vermont Healthcare Exchange Survey – The Results are In

Earlier this month, Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs conducted a survey regarding the impact of Vermont’s new healthcare exchange system on Vermont-based businesses.  The survey was completed by over 130 small- to medium- sized businesses located throughout the state.  Most of those surveyed responded within four hours of the survey launch, perhaps demonstrating the urgency of this topic among many Vermont businesses.

For the current year, 81% of businesses surveyed indicated that they provide health coverage to employees on some level.  39% of which offer full single or family coverage, 21% offer full single coverage only, while 8% provide a flat dollar amount in excess of $300 per month, and 4% provide a flat dollar amount less than $300 per month.  28% of those businesses providing health coverage on some level in 2013 have provided another option to their employees.

When the same respondents were asked about intent for the new health plan year 2014, only 54% indicated that they will offer health coverage to their employees.  Of those businesses that will offer health plans for 2014, 44% will provide a flat dollar amount in excess of $300 per month and 12% will provide less than $300 per month.  43% of respondents that will offer plans in 2014 indicated that they will provide an alternative to their employees.

Of those businesses surveyed, 34% indicated that they will NOT offer health coverage to employees for the new health plan year 2014.  As an alternative to health coverage 24% of those that will not offer a 2014 health plan will increase employee compensation and 22% will offer another alternative.  2% of those not offering a 2014 health plan indicated that they will begin or increase contributions to employee Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) while 52% stated that they will offer no alternative. 

What does Davis & Hodgdon’s managing partner, John Davis think it means?  “I sense a great deal of trepidation among businesses regarding how best to respond to the new exchange system.  Survey results show a significant drop in businesses that are offering health plans or alternatives to employees in 2014, which may indicate that many are taking a “wait and see” approach prior to committing to alternatives to the coverage they once offered their employees.”  Davis continued, “It’s also interesting that only 21% of businesses surveyed are taking advantage of the health care tax credits, which may indicate that the benefits of this credit have been overstated.” 

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Davis & Hodgdon Associates has been assisting businesses and individuals in the Burlington Vermont Metro area for more than 20 years. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call 802.878.1963 or email [email protected].

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