If you presently get coverage through your employer, you will probably see little change. Most companies that provide health benefits will continue to do so. You may see small differences in the extent of coverage, since employer plans will have to meet minimum standards. However, most of them already do. The law also permits employers to start offering discounts to workers who participate in wellness programs. You may notice some other changes as well, like larger co-payments and deductibles and higher premiums, but most of these would have occurred without health reform.

In the long-run, some companies may decide to drop coverage and let their workers buy it on their own through the new insurance exchanges. They may also reduce the amount they contribute toward the cost. However, they cannot reduce it too far. No employee may be required to pay more than 9.5% of his or her houseful income for health insurance. It is too early to tell how widespread these changes will be.


Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. is a professor of law at the Earle Mack School of Law and professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health at Drexel University. He also writes for The Field Clinic blog.