New health law and benefits top midsized business concerns.

Author:Heffes, Ellen M.

A new study, Top Concerns and Challenges of Midsized Business Leaders, found (hat the top three concerns of midsized business executives and owners are cost of health coverage and other employee benefits, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) legislation and the level and volume of government regulations.

The study, conducted by the ADP Research Institute, a specialized research group within ADP, a global provider of human capital management solutions, examined the concerns, perceptions, challenges and plans of more than 1,000 business owners and executives at U.S. midsized companies, categorized as those with 50-999 employees.

Topping the list, the cost of health coverage and benefits (70 percent), is made even more complex by employer requirements associated with ACA regulations. Two-thirds of respondents say that the cost of providing employer-sponsored medical health insurance to employees is a barrier to achieving business goals.

ACA legislation, rated second among business owners' concerns (59 percent), reveals a stark disconnect between executives' perceived ability to comply with the regulations and having a thorough understanding of the legislation and its implications on the organization.

Seventy percent of the executives believe their firms will be in "complete compliance" with ACA; 66 percent are not confident they understand ACA and nine out of 10 are not confident that their employees understand the impact of ACA on their benefits and benefit choices.

Notably, concern of ACA as a ranked concern jumped 16 percent from the 2012 study.

The third pressing business concern, the level and volume of regulations (54 percent), reveals that issues related to compliance and management of...

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