Company size has a big effect on U.S. employer health plan preferences and satisfaction levels.

Researchers at PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P., New York, have published figures supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from a survey of senior executives at about 100 U.S.-based multinational corporations and senior executives at about 250 privately held small employers.

Almost all executives who participated said timeliness and accuracy at handling claims were key factors in choosing a carrier, but large-employer executives and small-employer executives had much different attitudes about wellness programs and administrative costs.

Wellness programs were important to 78% of the large-employer participants, and administrative fees were important to 77%.

Among the small-employer participants, administrative fees were important to just 56%, and wellness programs were important to just 50%.

Similarly, large-employer participants were much more interested than small-employer participants in access to disease management programs, personal health record programs, and health-risk profile programs.