WASHINGTON, D.C. – Health insurance is the most important benefit an employer can offer workers and their families, according to a new survey on how American workers view employer-sponsored health coverage. Workers report that they overwhelmingly prefer to receive health insurance directly from an employer rather than through other means. The poll found that as high as 96% of Americans believe it is important that a job to offer health insurance. Additionally, by nearly a two-to-one margin, respondents said they would not accept a job that does not offer health insurance.
As a new Congress prepares to take over, the Protecting Americans Coverage Together (PACT) campaign commissioned a poll from Seven Letter Insight to examine how those with employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) think about their coverage and other workplace benefits. The full results of the poll can be found here and a two-page summary is found here.
The survey found that Americans are highly satisfied with their employer-sponsored health coverage:
Ninety-three percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their insurance:
- 54% said they were “highly satisfied;”
- 87% called their plans affordable; and,
- More than 70% agree their health insurance is worth what they pay for it.
When provided with a list of words to describe their coverage, respondents’ top three choices were:
- “High-quality,” and
The least chosen descriptions were “lacking,” “confusing,” and “low-quality.”
Ninety-six percent of employees reported viewing their health insurance as either:
- “Extremely important” (83%) or
- “Very important” (13%) to them.
Employer-sponsored health insurance remains far more popular than insurance plans available on the individual market:
- 89% of Americans expressed a preference for obtaining their health coverage through an employer than through other means.
- 81% of respondents reported that they would rather receive their insurance from an employer than a government-provided health plan
These findings were consistently shared across ideological backgrounds.
“Employees value their employer-sponsored health coverage, and they believe it is fundamentally important for employers to offer it,” said Katie Mahoney, Vice President of Health Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “ESI is working for the people with access to it, and the goal of policymakers should be to strengthen and bolster the system to help more people.”
“I expected there to be a high level of satisfaction with employer health benefits, but I was stunned by the level of intensity,” said Matt George of Seven Letter Insight, who ran the survey. “It is not an exaggeration to say Americans love, trust, and rely on their workplace health care coverage.”
“Manufacturers go to great lengths to provide health insurance offerings to employees, to attract and retain talent, to maintain a healthy workforce and because they believe it is the right thing to do for their employees,” said Robyn Boerstling, Vice President, Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. “Our industry continues to develop and lead private-sector solutions to offer benefits that are more flexible, innovative, efficient.”
Nearly all respondents (97%) agreed that “quality health coverage is an important way for companies to retain their valued employees.” Demand for employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) remained strong when compared directly to other benefits. In the survey, 80% of respondents named health insurance as one of the most important benefits for an employer to offer.
When compared with plans available on the open insurance markets:
- 83% of respondents said ESI would be more affordable and
- 95% said the ESI plan would be more convenient.
- Over 75% of respondents said they believed employer-sponsored health plans were higher quality open market plans.
“The employer-based system has proven to be the most effective way to provide both quality and affordable coverage,” said Joel White, President of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage. “Keeping the ESI system strong helps keep costs low and satisfaction high for American workers.”
“Taking care of our employees is a major focus for us,” said Vermeer Corporation. “Investing in quality health insurance is an investment in the people we value and our ability to recruit and retain talent. This data makes that picture even more clear.”
“Nearly half of Americans receive health care coverage through their employer, and it’s clear they want to protect what’s working for them,” said Corey Astill, Vice President, Health & Retirement, at Business Roundtable. “This survey validates the investments U.S. businesses are making in their workers. It’s imperative that public policy continues to bolster—not weaken—employer-sponsored insurance.
The survey was commissioned by the Protecting American’s Coverage Together (PACT) campaign, a coalition including the U.S Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, Vermeer Corporation, The National Association of Manufacturers and Council for Affordable Health Coverage. PACT represents leading employer voices focused on strengthening the ESI system and protecting the coverage and benefits that American families depend on for their health.
The poll was conducted from November 14, 2022, through November 19, 2022. The national poll surveyed 2334 respondents and has a margin of error or +/- 2.0%.
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