Some U.S. employers want to go with cuttting-edge benefits ideas to hold down health insurance costs and increase the quality of the coverage — but many seem to hope they can find a way to keep offering the kind of coverage they offer now.
Analysts at the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research supplied data supporting that idea recently when they published the results of a survey of 1,061 U.S. private-sector employers with at least three employees. The survey was performed with financial support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The team talked to employers from Aug. 19 through Oct. 8.
The survey team found that 59 percent of all employers surveyed offer health coverage; 35 percent offer dental benefits, and 25 percent offer vision benefits.
It’s not entirely clear whether all of the employers were interpreting the term “private exchange” the same way, but 16 percent said they already give employees funds they can use to buy health coverage through a private exchange. Half of the employers that say they offer this, say they provide $300 or more in private exchange payments.
The survey team found a large minority of employers are interested in other ideas for cutting the cost or improving the quality of health benefits — but only a minority.
For information about what the survey team found, read on.
1. A majority of employers want to keep employees’ dependents in the plan
About 66 percent of the employers that offer health benefits offer dependent coverage.
Only 11 percent of the employers that offer dependent coverage say they are extremely or very likely to drop dependent benefits in the next two years, and 70 percent say they are not too likely, or not likely at all, to drop dependent benefits in the next two years.