Survey: Employer-sponsored health insurance is most desired form of coverage for Americans - MedCity News

Nearly 90% of Americans prefer to get their health insurance through an employer over other means, new research found.

The study, released last week, was commissioned by the Protecting American’s Coverage Together campaign, a coalition that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the Vermeer Corporation, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Affordable Health Insurance. It was conducted Nov. 14-19 and surveyed 2,334 people with employer-sponsored health insurance.

It also found that 81 percent of respondents would rather get coverage from an employer than through a government-provided health plan, an answer consistent among Republicans, independents and Democrats.

Americans prefer employer-sponsored insurance for three reasons: quality, affordability and convenience, the survey found. For example, 76% of respondents say the quality of coverage through their employer is better than the quality of health plans on the open market. Another 83% say their employer-sponsored insurance is more affordable, and 95% say it’s more convenient than seeking insurance on the open market.

Health insurance is significantly more valued than other workplace benefits, with 80% of respondents saying it is one of the most important benefits to them when looking for a new job. Next, 44% cited 401K or other retirement savings plans, and 39% cited paid vacation or sick leave. When asked to describe how important each benefit is, 83% said health insurance is “extremely important,” compared to 74% for paid vacation or sick leave and 73% for a 401K.

Almost all respondents or 97% stated this “quality health insurance is an important way for companies to retain their valuable employees.”

“Employees value their employer-sponsored health coverage and believe it is fundamentally important for employers to offer it,” said Katie Mahoney, vice president of health policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in news release. “[Employer-sponsored insurance] it works for the people with access to it and policy makers should aim to strengthen and support the system to help more people.

Additionally, the survey found that 93 percent of respondents were satisfied with their current employer-sponsored insurance coverage. Another 91% say their plan allows them to see the doctor of their choice.

“Nearly half of Americans get health insurance through their employer, and it’s clear they want to protect what works for them,” Corey Astill, vice president of health and retirement at the Business Roundtable, said in a statement. “This survey validates the investment that American businesses are making in their workers. It is imperative that public policy continue to support, not weaken, employer-sponsored insurance.”

Photo: Feodora Chiosea, Getty Images

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