(MoneyWatch) Obamacare may cost more than experts previously thought, according to a survey of 900 employers released Wednesday. As companies scramble to prepare for a wave of new health care rules that go into effect next year, an increasing number have become pessimistic about the cost, according to Mercer, a benefits consulting firm.
Roughly one in five employers (19 percent) now expect that health care costs will rise by more than 5% as the result of the law. When asked the same question two years ago, only 14% of respondents thought the Affordable Care Act would significantly raise costs. Moreover, just 9 percent of employers still think the law will have little or no impact on costs. When asked the same question two years ago, a quarter of the respondents thought the impact would be minimal. Almost a third of employers say they still can't predict the impact.