Health Benefits Most Important to Workers, According to Survey
Most U.S. workers employed at large businesses consider health coverage to be the most important part of their benefits package, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Business Group on Health, the Washington Times reports.
The survey was conducted in February and involved 1,619 workers at companies with at least 2,500 employees.
According to the survey, workers would rather face reductions in salary or retirement benefits than lose any part of their health benefits. The survey also found that two out of three workers said they are satisfied with the coverage level of their health plans.
In addition, workers who rated their health plans as fair or poor said they are not interested in purchasing a plan on their own. More than half of the workers said they would oppose the treatment of employers' contributions to plan premiums as taxable income.
The survey also found that nonsmoking employees support charging smokers higher premiums for health benefits but do not support higher premiums for obese workers. The survey did not examine the opinions of workers at small businesses.
Helen Darling, president of NBGH, said, "This is the highest level workers have ever valued their health benefits since we began asking these questions." She added, "They should. Health care is two to three times more expensive these days" (Lopes, Washington Times, 4/13).