Employees Generally Satisfied With Health Benefits
Despite higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for health care benefits, U.S. workers' satisfaction levels with employer-provided health care coverage has either risen or remained the same compared to three years earlier, according to a 2012 survey by the National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit association of large employers.
Employees Like Their Benefits
Among the survey highlights:
• 63 percent of respondents were very satisfied with their current health coverage provided by their employer, although nearly two-thirds had experienced higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs over the past three years.
• 87 percent of employees rated health benefits as very important when making a decision about accepting a new job or remaining with their employer
• Roughly one in three were not confident in their ability to shop for health insurance on their own, and more than half were not confident they could purchase the same or better quality insurance on their own.
While employers can take pride in the high value that their employees place on health benefits, with costs continuing to rise faster than the health of their businesses or the economy, many employers will need to think carefully about how much they can or want to spend on health benefits. In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold the health care reform law and a future that will include health exchanges where individuals can shop for and buy insurance, some employers will be carefully weighing their options.
Health Care vs. Other Rewards
The survey found that 78 percent of employees rated retirement benefits as very important, up sharply from 63 percent in 2007. However, if their employer had to reduce total rewards, most employees (46 percent) preferred to see their retirement benefits reduced, followed by health benefits (32 percent) and then salaries (22 percent).
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