Skip to main content

GV Now

GVSU surveys local impact of Affordable Care Act

  • Leslie Muller, assistant professor of economics

Posted on January 16, 2014

There are at least 1,000 fewer workers in West Michigan as a result of area employers reacting to the Affordable Care Act, according to a report by Grand Valley State University researchers.

Grand Valley economics professors Leslie Muller and Paul Isely, in collaboration with Priority Health, surveyed area employers about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on local businesses in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Allegan (KOMA) counties.

“Firms are choosing not to hire more workers in reaction to the Affordable Care Act,” said Muller. “Conservatively, there would be 1,000 more workers today in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Allegan counties if not for the ACA. This is not even taking into effect the decrease in hours firms are making to keep employees at part-time.”

The survey also found that 49 percent of companies have passed additional health care costs to workers and 40 percent are considering that option.

The full report can be found here. See other results below.

1.     93% of firms in West Michigan with greater than 50 employees have health insurance for their workers
2.    30% of firms in West Michigan are uncertain about offering health insurance in 2015

1.    49% of firms have already increased the share of costs with employees
2.    37% have shifted costs using a high-deductible plan
3.    30% have shifted costs using changes to prescription drug coverage
4.    51% of firms are getting their primary information on ACA from something other than their insurance carrier or insurance broker

1.    15% of firms have increased the use of temporary workers
2.    22% plan on reducing or limiting hiring
3.    29% have limited employee hours
4.    The authors estimate that growth will be 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points lower in KOMA over the next 12 months as a result of the ACA

For more information, contact Leslie Muller at W: (616) 331-7473, C: (202) 441-2212) or

Recent Articles

more articles