Majority of Workers Satisfied with Health Benefits, Despite Rising Costs, NBGH Survey Finds

August 8, 2012

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Despite higher premiums and out of pocket costs for health care benefits, U.S. worker satisfaction levels with employer-provided health care coverage has either risen or remained the same compared to three years ago, according to a survey of employees conducted by the National Business Group on Health. 

Sixty-three percent of workers say they are very satisfied with their health benefits, and despite rising health care cost for employees, their satisfaction with their health plans rose, with 35 percent indicating they are more satisfied with their health plan than they were three years ago. 

The survey also found that roughly one in three employees are not confident in their ability to shop for health insurance on their own, and more than half are not confident they could purchase the same or better quality insurance on their own.

The survey found that only 12% were less satisfied and the remaining 53% said their satisfaction level has remained the same.  NBGH also noted that, while workers are satisfied with their health benefits, 62% were unable to estimate how much their employers pay for their health benefits.  

The survey also found that 87% of employees rated health benefits as very important when making a decision about accepting a new job or remaining with their employer while 78% rated retirement benefits as very important, which is up from 63% in 2007.  The survey was conducted from late May through early June, with a total of 1,545 employees at organizations with 2,000 or more employees responding. 

Meanwhile, NBGH this week released survey results showing that employers expect health care benefits costs will increase an average of 7% in 2013, which is the same amount projected for this year, but smaller than employers experienced the previous three years.  NBGH said that, despite being able to "hold the line" on increases, six in 10 employers plan to increase the percentage of premiums paid by employees in 2013. 

The survey also found that, while many employers continue to adopt cost-sharing provisions, respondents now consider CDHPs and wellness initiatives to be more effective at curtailing costs than shifting costs to employees.  According to the survey, 43% cited a CDHP as the most effective cost control tactic followed by wellness programs at 19%, and less than one in ten (9%) respondents reported increased employee cost-sharing as the most effective tactic.

Summary of NBGH Employee Survey Results

NBGH Release on Employer Costs