Nielsen And Travelers Survey Reveals Many Employers Are Unfamiliar With Management Liability Risks Posed By Affordable Care Act

Travelers (NYSE: TRV) today released a Nielsen Research survey that offers insight into U.S. employers’ familiarity with and preparedness for the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The survey, which was sponsored by Travelers, highlights that many businesses may not be prepared for the new mandates. Travelers also is offering risk management tools and resources to assist customers in navigating the new healthcare landscape.

Among the more than 800 corporate decision-makers that were polled in March 2014, 36 percent say they are not very familiar with the PPACA’s overall requirements, and another 31 percent report being only somewhat familiar with the law’s requirements. Approximately 25 percent report they have not yet begun preparing for PPACA compliance. These results suggest that many companies may face potential penalties and management liability risks that could result in lawsuits, regulatory actions, and reputational harm.

“Most of the public attention around healthcare reform has focused on the new health insurance coverage mandates – giving employers very little information and context for the additional liability exposures the PPACA creates for them if they are not in compliance,” said Jeffrey Klenk, Senior Vice President, Management Liability, Travelers Bond & Financial Products. “The good news is that there are tools available to help organizations of all sizes address these risks as they prepare to implement the PPACA.”

More Familiarity Means More Concerns

Respondents that report being extremely familiar with PPACA (33 percent) are three times more likely to be concerned about potential lawsuits, illustrating that the more familiar an organization is with the law’s requirements, the more it understands the liability-related exposures created by the healthcare mandates.

Even though employers can face penalties for failing to comply with the new healthcare law, lawsuits and other liability risks were at the bottom of employers’ concerns around PPACA, pointing to an increased need for education on both the PPACA itself and the risks associated with non-compliance. For example, 47 percent of those surveyed say they are not very familiar with whistleblower protections provided to employees reporting violations.

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