Many Americans say they still don't understand the new healthcare law
Politicians in Washington are battling furiously over last year’s healthcare reform law.
But many of those most affected by it -- American workers and employers -- say they still don’t know much about the law, although they expect it will cost them money.
Among consumers, 37% of people say they are not very knowledgeable about the law, and 18% say they know nothing about it, according to survey data from the Society for Human Resource Management and the Employee Benefit Research Institute. A little more than 1 in 3 people say they are somewhat knowledgeable about it.
When asked if they were comfortable in their understanding of the law, 45% of employers agreed that they were. But 41% disagreed and 11% strongly disagreed, according to EBRI.
As for costs, half of consumers think the law will push up their own out-of-pocket costs. And they may have good reason to believe that: Employers say they are more likely to pass along any cost increases they incur than to pass along cost decreases.
About 41% of employers said they'd be likely to pass along insurance-related hikes, and an additional 23% said they'd be very likely to pass them along.
But if healthcare expenses go down -- as supporters of the law say they will -- employees shouldn’t hold their breaths waiting to benefit, according to the data.
In such a situation, only 30% of companies said they'd be likely to lower premiums and co-pays for their workers, and an additional 10% said they'd be very likely to do so.
-– Walter Hamilton