Employee Satisfaction With Health Benefits Slips

Yet workers continue to express confidence in employers to make the right health plan decisions.

The daily disruption in the way health care services are delivered and paid for in the U.S. finally may be messing with the heads of employees. They may not like or understand what’s happening in health care, and they’re counting on their employers to hold the line for them.

That appears to be the case with employer-sponsored health insurance. Most workers still trust their employer to choose the best health plan available for them despite their growing dissatisfaction with the benefits they’re getting.

That’s the conflicted result from the latest annual Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey conducted by the Washington-based Employee Benefit Research Institute. The report is based on an online survey of a representative sample of 1,500 U.S. workers with employer-sponsored health benefits. EBRI conducted the survey last June and released the findings this month.
 
According to the report, the percentage of surveyed workers who said they were satisfied with their health benefits dipped to 66 percent in 2015 from 69 percent in 2014 and a high of 74 percent in both 2012 and 2013. At the same time, the percentage of surveyed workers who said they were extremely or very confident that their employer chose the best available health plan for them rose to 45 percent last year from 41 percent in 2014.
 
In fact, despite the growing, creative and flexible health insurance financing options for employees, most don’t want to change. Some 44 percent of the workers said they want to continue to choose and pay for health insurance the same way, up from 40 percent in 2014. At the same time, the percentage of surveyed workers who want to change how they obtain coverage—for example, receiving subsidies from employers to buy their own plans on a health insurance exchange—declined.
 
And, they’re hoping that their employers stay the course. Some 64 percent of the surveyed workers said they were extremely or very confident that their employer will continue to offer health benefits to them through work.