More than three-fourths of manufacturers identified rising health care and insurance costs as their most important challenge, according to the latest NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers for Q4. Manufacturers have ranked this issue as their highest primary challenge all year. The NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers was conducted in mid to late November among the National Association of Manufacturers’ membership of small, medium and large manufacturers.
More than 90 percent of manufacturers stated their health insurance premiums had increased, and a significant portion have had to increase employee copays (58.6 percent), reduce coverage (27.7 percent) and/or change insurance providers (17.6 percent) to lower their costs. According to the survey, the Affordable Care Act and the accompanying uncertainties have had effects that extend well beyond premium payments and have placed a roadblock in manufacturers’ efforts to invest and grow. When asked about how these uncertainties have impacted their business, nearly one-third said they had reduced their outlook for 2014, and a sizable percentage had reduced employment or stopped hiring (23.1 percent) and/or reduced or slowed down their business investment (20.2 percent). For more information about the survey, read Shopfloor blog post.
With the mounting uncertainty due to ACA, the North Carolina Chamber Services, Inc., an affiliate of the North Carolina Chamber, has launched a private health insurance and benefits market-place through CieloStar that will help employers face this uncertainty head on. Through the NC Chamber Marketplace, North Carolina companies can provide their employees with access to a one-stop, online marketplace to shop for health insurance and other voluntary benefits. To get started, visit www.ncchambermarketplace.com, or contact CieloStar at 877-842-6947 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.