Some health policymakers want to put individual consumers in charge of buying their own health coverage, but many consumers seem to prefer employer-chosen plans.[@@]

Jeanne Lambrew of George Washington University has published data supporting that conclusion in a report released by the Commonwealth Fund, New York.

Lambrew based the report on a Commonwealth Fund survey of 3,293 adults ages 19 to 64.

Some employers that now offer traditional group health plans are looking into the possibility of simply giving employees flat sums of cash that the employees can use to buy their own individual health coverage.

But about 72% of the survey participants with employer-sponsored insurance said their employers were doing a good job of selecting high quality health insurance plans, and 46% of the participants with individual plans said they preferred employer-chosen plans, Lambrew writes.

Although survey participants with annual incomes under $20,000 were far less likely than participants with incomes over $60,000 to have a choice plan, 37% of the low-income participants said they could choose from a menu with at least 2 options.