Most U.S. workers are satisfied with employer-provided health coverage, according to a new survey by the Washington, D.C.-based National Business Group on Health.
The report, “Perceptions of Health Benefits in a Recovering Economy: A Survey of Employees,” was conducted from late May through early June. A total of 1,545 employees at organizations with 2,000 or more employees responded. Respondents were between the ages of 22 and 69 and receive their health care benefits through their employer or union.
Higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for health care benefits rule the roost, as most covered employees realize. But the survey finds that roughly one in three employees are not confident in their ability to shop for health insurance on their own.
More than half are not confident they can purchase the same or better quality insurance on their own. Reports coming out after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act do not bode well for employees, the reports suggesting they may be forced to buy insurance in health insurance exchanges.
What Your Peers Are Reading
About one in 10 employers in the United States say they’ll drop health coverage for employees in the next few years as the major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act take effect. And more indicate they may do so over time, a survey by consulting company Deloitte finds, an article in BenefitsPro reported this week.
A health insurance exchange is an online marketplace set up under the health reform law wherein individuals and small businesses can shop for health plans from private insurance companies. Each state’s exchange is set to offer coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014. People may seek federal financial assistance when they apply.
There is also a third option tickling some fancies: As recapped in an article published July 19 on LifeHealthPro.com, an Employee Benefit Research Institute brief suggests the PPACA exchange system could lead to a return to an employer-sponsored defined contribution health benefits system.
Under this system, employers would give a set amount of cash to employees, the funds used by the employees to buy guaranteed-issue, mostly community-rated coverage through the exchanges.
Nearly two thirds of workers have experienced higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs, according to the survey. The new law mandates that, starting in 2014, any company with 50 or more full-time employees has to provide coverage or pay a penalty.