If healthcare reform is dampening your optimism for your company’s opportunities, you’re not alone. In terms of what’s keeping CFOs up at night, healthcare regulation-related stress has now taken the place of the economy.
About half of CFOs say they believe the economy is already in the midst of a recovery, but are holding back a sigh of relief, reports a new survey from Financial Executives International and Baruch College. They’re now more concerned with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how it will affect their companies.
In fact, the survey found that finance chiefs’ levels of optimism have steadily dropped over the past year as more healthcare changes have rolled out.
They have good reason to worry: CFOs reported an average 5% increase in healthcare-related costs due to the ACA within the last six months.
In order to manage increasing healthcare costs, CFOs are looking into a variety of options, the survey found. Here are the most popular anticipated strategies:
- increase employee co-pays (59%)
- reduce the quality of company healthcare packages or reduce benefits in general, and (44%)
- change workforce via layoffs, furloughs, etc. (14%)
Hopefully these approaches will work, but CFOs should keep on guard: Healthcare changes will continue to impact finance chiefs for the next several months and will most likely influence business expectations for 2014, the survey claims.