Consumers value employer coverage but ignore healthcare costs

Consumers highly value their employer-sponsored health plans, but they largely ignore health costs when they enroll in these plans, according to a new survey from marketing firm Benz Communications and technology firm Quantum Workplace.

The survey found that 89 percent of the 2,000 survey respondents said that health benefits are a key reason they remain at their current company, with 48 percent of that group saying employer coverage is a major part. What's more, 73 percent of the employees said they wouldn't take a job without an accompanying health plan.

This could demonstrate the continued strength of employer-based coverage despite changes from the Affordable Care Act. In fact, employers have found that it's more expensive to drop coverage than it is to continue providing health benefits, primarily because workers who lose their employer-sponsored benefits expect a raise in return, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Although almost 70 percent of employees said they have enough information to obtain the right healthcare, just 48 percent said they ask their providers how much care will cost.

"For decades, it's been clear from health claims data that employees lack understanding around how to connect care to cost," Jennifer Benz, CEO of Benz Communications, said in a statement. "However, this data finally gives us that information from employees' own mouths. Not only that, our findings show the overwhelming trust workers have in their employers--especially as it pertains to health benefits."

The survey also found that 52 percent of workers don't think their employer adequately explained ACA-related coverage changes to them. As such, insurers could consider communicating ACA benefits to their employer groups so they can better explain the changes to their employees.

There's incentive for both insurers and employers to take these steps--49 percent of employees who trust their company leaders said they receive frequent health and wellness communication from them. Meanwhile, among workers who don't trust their employer's leaders, only 28 percent receive frequent communications.

To learn more:
- here are the statement and survey