Despite questions around the future of employer-sponsored healthcare, American workers still rate healthcare benefits as the most important consideration when choosing a new job. A recent survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (www.ebri.org) provides information about employees’ feelings toward current employer-sponsored healthcare offerings and what changes they would like to see in the future:
· While the majority of workers (70%) are satisfied with their current healthcare, 19% of those surveyed said they would trade healthcare coverage for higher wages (up 9% from 2012). Only 12% said they would prefer lower wages in exchange for more benefits.
· The majority of participants would like to see more choice shifted towards the employee. Forty percent would like the option to choose their own coverage plan, with employers paying a percentage and the employee making up the difference. Nineteen percent would prefer employers to give the money typically spent on healthcare benefits directly to employees. Employees could then choose whether to use the money for health coverage or not.
· Most participants said that having more choice in healthcare plans is extremely or very important. Among those who have plan options in their workplace, premiums and cost sharing are the most critical factors affecting plan choice.
· If employers were to discontinue offering healthcare coverage to employees, 47% said that they would continue with their current level of coverage (up 7% from 2012), while 26% said they would switch to a less expensive plan, 20% said they would want to choose healthcare on their own, and 7% said they would opt out of coverage altogether.
· Despite the above, confidence in independently choosing the best plan is low. Thirty-nine percent say they are somewhat confident in their ability to choose the best available plan, and 20% say they are “not too” or “not at all confident.”
The survey also provides data on employee confidence that companies/unions have chosen the best possible plan available (85%), and confidence that employer-sponsored health coverage would continue to be provided.
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The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources believed to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose