HR leaders rate ACA concerns as a lower-tier issue

Originally posted by Michael Giardina on http://ebn.benefitnews.com

New research from a North American sample of HR leaders finds that the Affordable Care Act is not a primary concern among employers, even as the landmark health care law continues to worry the masses.

Roughly half of the 358 individuals surveyed in the Human Capital Institute’s new report disclose being “very much prepared” or “quite a bit prepared” to take on the unknown future environment being forged by the ACA. The participants surveyed include human resource professionals, executive management or those working in a recruiting function.

Forty percent of the sample highlight that they are neutral or cannot judge the ACA, according to HCI’s Talent Pulse, a quarterly research e-book that tracks new talent management trends.

“We found that most HR professionals express neutral attitudes about Obamacare, suggesting that they need more information or time to better understand its impact,” says Jenna Filipkowski, PhD, a senior research analyst at HCI.

Even more peculiar is that only 15% of organizations are worried about cutting employee hours. Previously, the industry was reeling over the most recent employer mandate delay, as many pointed to shifting employee hours could alleviate the law’s restrictions but limit recruitment of needed talent. Other options have been to delay the stiff individual penalties through legislation.

The Talent Pulse report finds that 88% of the surveyed population understands the law, while 91.5% are adhering to compliance and regulations and 88.6% have communicated these changes to employees. However, HCI mandates that HR executives are concerned with the impending excise tax, or Cadillac tax, which will roll out in 2018.

In order to address additional concerns, participants’ surveyed state that they are looking to increase their communication and education, utilize external expert consultations and adding or adjusting their benefits package.

The strategic talent management organization finds that tracking employee hours has been confusing for some and others even question whether the law will be around for the long term.

“What is nerve racking to some extent is the unforeseen,” says one respondent. “Will the Act still be around next year or after the next election?”