The Towers Watson 2013 Health Care Changes Ahead Survey, released today, found that some 98% of employers now offering health insurance plan to continue doing so as Obamacare kicks in, at least through 2014 and 2015.

However, a majority of these employers also say they anticipate making moderate to significant changes to their health benefits by the beginning of 2016. Most significantly perhaps, nearly three-quarters of those looking to make changes consider private health insurance exchanges — as opposed to Obamacare Health Insurance Marketplaces — as more capable of delivering better value.

"The health care landscape is changing rapidly thanks to health reform, continued cost escalation, the emergence of health benefit exchanges, and new provider contracting and care delivery arrangements," said Randall Abbott, a senior health care consultant at Towers Watson.

"While employers are grappling with how to comply with health care reform right now, they are evaluating new health care designs and delivery approaches for their employee and retiree populations that will ultimately transform the look of employer-provided health plans over the next three to five years. In particular, employers recognize the impact of the excise tax requires strategic planning now to create a glide path to 2018."