Health Benefits

Employment-Based Health Insurance Deemed Most Important Benefit

Employee-Benefits_(500w)With enrollment season rapidly approaching, it’s a good time to review current attitudes from workers toward their employment-based health benefits.

The Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey (WBS) is conducted annually by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates. The nationwide study examines a broad spectrum of health care issues, including worker satisfaction with health care, their confidence in the health care system and the Medicare program, and their attitudes toward benefits in the workplace.

Key findings of the 2016 survey include:

  • Nearly half (48 percent) of U.S. workers are either extremely or very satisfied with the benefits package offered by their employer. One-third (32 percent) are only somewhat satisfied; 20 percent are not satisfied.
  • Approximately one-half (49 percent) are extremely or very confident that their employer will continue to offer a similar benefits package three years from now. Those who are less confident that their benefits will remain the same tend to believe they will weaken.
  • Workers continue to value employment-based health insurance as their most important benefit. Eighty-seven percent (87 percent) report that employment-based health insurance is extremely or very important, followed by a retirement savings plan (77 percent) and dental/vision (72 percent).
  • Two-thirds of U.S. workers are confident in their ability to make informed benefits choices. Yet, nearly as many would welcome benefits advice from a third-party advisor or an online program.
  • Workers identify lower cost, choice, and the convenience of paying pre-tax and through payroll deductions as strong advantages of voluntary employment-based benefits.

The 2016 WBS was conducted online from June 16-23, 2016, using the Research Now consumer panel with funding support from eight private organizations including Mercer, Cigna, Prudential, and Unum. A total of 1,500 U.S. workers aged 21-64 participated, and data was weighted by gender, age and education to reflect the actual proportions in the employed population. Click here to download EBRI’s report on the full 2016 survey findings.

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