Big Companies, Take Note: Health Insurance Is Still a Major Draw for New Employees

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Photo: Darrin Klimek

Of the many layers in the debate over Obamacare, one surprising outcome of the 2010 signing of the Affordable Care Act is that big companies have continued to see offering health insurance as a potential draw for prospective employees. And predictions say it’ll stay that way at least until 2026.

Obamacare was introduced as a way to ensure that everyone — regardless of income — would receive affordable health care. Because of the shift in onus from employer to individual regarding health insurance, some worried that Obamacare would shake the foundation of America’s health-insurance industry and leave many without reliable coverage. The argument was that Obamacare would immediately inspire employers to drop their regulated health plans and let employees figure out their health coverage alone. But new reports reveal that people are retaining their health care with their employers, and employer-sponsored coverage remains a big draw for prospective employees. The Times reports:

About 155 million Americans have employer-based health insurance coverage in 2016, according to an analysis released by the Congressional Budget Office last month. The number will fall to 152 million people in 2019, the C.B.O. estimates, but will remain stable through 2026. Slightly more than half of people under 65 will be enrolled in employment-based coverage.

Offering health coverage benefits employers, too: There are large tax breaks provided by the government when coverage is offered, and if it’s not, many prospective employees might expect higher salaries in return. And all this piles on to the fact that Obamacare has insured millions of low-income Americans. Sometimes there can be a win-win! It’s rare, but it can happen.