New Jersey employers are concerned about the rising cost of health insurance – and they worry that federal healthcare changes will make it worse.
While experts say these views – reflected in two recent surveys of business owners in the state -- are rooted in long-term worries about rising health costs, they also pointed out that the impact of the 2010 Affordable Care Act on businesses remains an open question. The national consulting firm Mercer, which has offices in Hoboken, Morristown and Princeton, found that New Jersey employers estimated their healthcare costs would rise by 8.4 percent if they made no changes to their plans, but that they could lower this increase to 5.1 percent by making changes in the coverage they offer.
In addition, 7 percent of business owners in the state said they were likely to drop health coverage entirely in the next five years. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association, the state’s largest business group, found in its annual survey of members that 80 percent expected their health costs to rise this year, with 46 percent expecting increases of at least 11 percent.
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