According to a recent survey, although most workers are pleased with their health insurance benefits, they aren’t quite as happy as they were last year. Or the year before that. What’s more, they’re becoming increasingly concerned about their premium costs.
In the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2015 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey, only 66 percent of employees said they were happy with the health benefits they received through their employer. That’s down from 69 percent in 2014 and 74 percent in 2012 and ’13.
It’s likely that this dissatisfaction is due to the fact that, while employer-sponsored plans didn’t disappear as some feared, they have changed drastically in the face of health care reform and the many changes underway in the industry.
Among the survey’s other findings were the following:
- More employees (44 percent vs. 40 percent the previous year) said they want their employees to continue choosing and paying for their health coverage the way they’ve always done.
- However, 39 percent would rather choose their own plan, let their employer pay what they otherwise would, and cover the difference themselves.
- Another 17 percent said they’d rather their employer just give them all the money allotted towards their insurance and let them decide whether to purchase coverage and how much to pay for it.
- Slightly more employees (20 percent vs. 19 percent in 2014) would prefer fewer health benefits and higher salaries. That percentage was 14 in 2013 and 10 in 2012.
- Contrast that with the 14 percent who said they’d prefer more health benefits than higher pay. However, that percentage is increasing at a slower rate than those who prefer higher wages over more benefits.
- A whopping 79 percent of those surveyed said premiums were the most important factor they consider when enrolling in a health plan. Next were deductibles and copays at 76 percent. Just over half said provider networks were important, while less than a quarter were concerned with quality measures.
One thing is clear. Cost is becoming an increasing important factor for consumers when choosing their health insurance plan. When was the last time you evaluated the options you offer your employees?