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Aug 10, 2022
Employees Credit Comprehensive Insurance Plans With Safeguarding Health, Financial Security
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Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance increasingly want plans that cover behavioral and physical health care needs, according to a new survey commissioned by AHIP and conducted by Locust Street Group. The number of respondents who rated mental health and counseling an important benefit grew by 7% in the new survey, conducted in June 2022, compared with January 2021. “This underscores how important mental health has become and continues to be a focus for consumers,” said Phillip Morris, a partner at Locust Street Group, during a webinar outlining the findings.

Overall, the new study found that Americans are increasingly satisfied with their employer-provided health insurance. Despite the medical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, 71% say their plan has been helpful and important during this time, while 75% said the coverage has been important for maintaining their health and financial security.

“Three things rise to the top” in driving plan satisfaction: affordability, comprehensive coverage, and choice of providers, Morris said.

The vast majority of respondents are confident that their coverage will protect them financially, even during a major medical emergency. That confidence increases with age, with 69% of all adults and 79% of those 55 and older agreeing that their health coverage will shield them from the majority of medical costs.

However, they view their own plans as preferable to our overall health insurance system. During the recent survey, 67% of respondents indicated they were satisfied with their plan. When asked about the system as a whole, 54% of respondents were satisfied.

Top Benefits Include Mental Health Care, Telehealth

Respondents ranked the top benefits as prescription drugs (57%), emergency care (55%), preventative care (48%), and care for chronic conditions (42%). Mental health and counseling were cited as an important benefit by 28% of the respondents.

“Telehealth is making physical health and behavioral health care more and more accessible,” Morris said, and respondents agreed that offering and maintaining virtual health care is a vital benefit. In all, 76% said that offering telehealth services is important, and 75% said they were likely to use those services. This is true across the political spectrum, with 86% of Democrats, 78% of swing voters, and 74% of Republicans agreeing that the federal government should maintain the increased access to telehealth introduced during the pandemic.

Insurance Coverage Helps Recruit, Keep Employees

In today’s tight labor market, benefits can help employers recruit and retain their workforce, the study found. In this year’s study, 87% of respondents said the health insurance offering had an impact on their decision to accept their current job, up 12% from 2021, while 84% said their health insurance has an impact on their decision to stay in their job, up 6% over the previous year.

When it comes to funding the benefit, however, 4% of the respondents believed their employer paid nothing toward their health care. Another 62% estimated their employer’s contribution at less than 70%. In fact, the average employer pays between 70% and 80% of the cost, with employees paying the remaining 20% to 30%. Informed of those figures, 69% of respondents said they now feel more favorable about companies that provide health insurance.

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