Got health care reform concerns? You’re not alone – so do your employees

December 2013

Health Care Reform: Three words that often trigger confusion. Yet, it’s important to understand reform given its potential to affect your business and your life outside the office.

If you’re concerned, you’re not alone. The 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report uncovered the four top concerns U.S. workers share about health care reform:

1. It’s too complicated to understand.

Seventy-five percent of workers say that health care reform is too complicated to understand. We say nothing is too complicated to understand; it’s just a matter of figuring out what’s not being explained well enough. Many of those workers said that they are not very or not at all knowledgeable about federal and state health care exchanges. What about you?

2. How will I be affected?

It’s no surprise that many people don’t fully understand the impact health care reform will have on their lives. The majority (83 percent) believes medical costs they are responsible for will increase, and 72 percent believe their personal health insurance situation will become more complicated. But, this is not necessarily the case. These “need to know” factoids can help empower you and your staff to manage your health care.

3. We’re not adequately prepared financially for the changes.

The reality is that many companies already shift a significant share of health care premiums to their workers, and a lot of employers offer health care plans with significant deductibles. Yet, only 23 percent of workers are saving money for potential increases in medical expenses.

Even more discouraging, more than half of workers (55%) say they are doing nothing to prepare for changes to the health care system.

4. I don’t know enough to effectively manage my health care options.

Although Americans usually want choice and control over their spending, many aren’t taking full advantage of that control when it comes to managing their health care dollars. Only 25 percent completely or strongly agree that they will be able to save more money in the long term by taking greater ownership of their health care expenses and options.

Encourage employees to speak with your company’s health care consultant or HR representative to fully understand how to take control of their benefits.

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This material is intended to provide general information about an evolving topic and does not constitute legal, tax or accounting advice regarding any specific situation. Aflac cannot anticipate all the facts that a particular employer or individual will have to consider in their benefits decision-making process. We strongly encourage readers to discuss their HCR situations with their advisors to determine the actions they need to take or to visit healthcare.gov (which may also be contacted at 1-800-318-2596) for additional information.
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