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Study: ACA Would Only Increase Costs for Mid-Size Businesses

The healthcare reform law would not bring significant cost increases for small

Some business owners expressed concern that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), specifically its rules regarding employer-supplied healthcare, would burden them with additional costs. A new study from the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center found that despite critics' claims that the law's requirements hurt economic recovery, impede job creation and create uncertainty for businesses, the opposite is true.

According to the researchers, the requirements under the ACA will have a "negligible impact" on costs and total employer-sponsored coverage. The biggest increases would be among businesses that have between 101 and 1,000 employees. For large corporations with 1,000 or more employees, the law does not have a major impact on costs per person.

"Our analysis shows these employers already cover the vast majority of their employees, will continue to do so, and will retain the flexibility to define their own benefits," the researchers noted. Most of the increases would be attributed to more employees enrolling in the program, and would lead to a total spending increase of 4.3 percent among businesses.

The analysis was based on a what-if scenario of the law going into effect this year, rather than its actual go-live date of 2014.