NU Online News Service, May 22, 5:12 p.m. – Aon Consulting, a unit of Aon Corp., Chicago, says medical insurance is still the benefit employees value most.

Aon surveyed 1,800 U.S. workers in October 2001 and asked them to rate 23 benefits on a scale of 1 to 5, with a 5 meaning that they believed the benefit is critical and a 4 meaning that they believe the benefit is very important.

The ratings for the top 10 benefits were surprisingly close, ranging from 4.62 for medical insurance to 4.11 for wellness coverage.

Paid vacation and holidays came in second, with a 4.48 rating.

The rating for a employer-paid pension was 4.43; for a retirement savings plan, 4.36; and for a prescription drug card, 4.34.

The ratings for dental insurance, flexible benefits menus, paid sick leave and long-term disability insurance ranged from 4.20 to 4.30.