Bob mentioned this last night, but I wanted to toss in my 2¢. Regular IB readers won't be surprised that:
"About one in 10 employers plan to drop health coverage when key provisions of the new health care law kick in"
I think that's lowballing it, and here's why:
First, the ridiculously onerous MLR requirements, which add nothing of value but do add lots of extra costs to group plans. Determining who's eligible, calculating employees' shares, and tracking down former employees who might have been covered for only a month sounds like a great reason to bail.
Second, those much-touted small business tax credits (subsidies) were a complete bust; how bad is it when you can't even pay employers to offer group health plans?
Third, what about all those companies with, say 55 or 60 employees? They're over the mandate threshold, but not exactly in Fortune 500 territory. Letting go one or two folks might work (to get back below the threshold), but a dozen? Just doesn't sound viable. Smartest alternative? Dump the group and eat the fine.
Okay, maybe that's more like a quarter's worth.