Two-Thirds of Workers Say Cost of Health Insurance is Unreasonable
A second survey in as many weeks found that insured employees are more critical of the health system overall than they are of their own health benefits.
This week it was a survey of 1,000 employed adults with employer-based health coverage conducted by America’s Health Insurance Plans. AHIP is the Washington-based trade group that represents health insurance carriers. AHIP released the survey results in a 42-page report, The Value of Employer-Provided Coverage.
Some 66 percent of the respondents said the current cost of health insurance benefits for U.S. citizens was “unreasonable” compared with 30 percent who said the cost was “reasonable.” Four percent didn’t have an opinion either way.
The numbers flipped when asked about the cost of their own health benefits. Some 60 percent said the amount they pay for health insurance was “reasonable” compared with 29 percent who said their cost for coverage was “unreasonable.” Eight percent didn’t feel one way or the other.
Further, 71 percent said they were “satisfied” with their own health insurance plan. But only 63 percent said the same thing about the current health insurance system in the U.S. generally.
The divergent employee views about health benefits also surfaced last week in a survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, or EBRI, and reported by Twin Cities Business.
Some 55 percent of the 1,518 working adults surveyed by EBRI described the U.S. health care system as “fair” or “poor” with 45 percent describing it as “excellent,” “very good,” or “good.” Yet, 50 percent said they were “extremely satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their own health benefits with 39 percent saying they were “somewhat satisfied.”
Asked by AHIP to rank the reasons they were satisfied with their health benefits, the respondents said:
- Comprehensive coverage (39 percent)
- Affordable coverage (36 percent)
- Choice of providers (34 percent)
- Consistency of providers (25 percent)
- Free preventive services (23 percent)
Asked to rank the reasons they were dissatisfied with their health benefits, the respondents said:
- Costs (82 percent)
- Inadequate coverage (40 percent)
- Out-of-network costs (22 percent)
- Too confusing (18 percent)
- Not enough provider choices (10 percent)
Some 79 percent of the AHIP respondents said they expect the overall cost of health insurance to rise for most U.S. citizens over the next two years.