Fewer consumers get health coverage from their employers

There has been a "considerable drop" in the number of people who say they get their primary health insurance through their employers as consumers continue to explore non-traditional coverage options, according to a new survey.

In the 2015 edition of Valence Health's "U.S. Attitudes Toward Health Insurance and Healthcare Reform" survey, 38 percent of respondents said they received health insurance through their employer, down from 59 percent who said the same in the company's 2013 survey.

A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, indicates enrollment in employer-sponsored plans has remained largely unchanged in the past two years. Another study from Rand Corp. even indicated that the largest gains in health coverage since 2013 are from increased enrollment in employer-based plans.

Indeed, employer-based health insurance remains far and away the most common coverage choice, the Valence Health survey finds, followed by Medicare, which 22 percent of respondents said they turn to for coverage. Consistent with other research, the survey also indicated the share of uninsured respondents has dropped in the past two years.

Here's a breakdown of some of the additional findings:

  • Twenty-eight percent said they were either very or somewhat likely to consider switching to consumer operated and oriented plans, which have struggled financially while a few have even been forced to close.
  • Twenty-one percent said they were very or somewhat likely to purchase a health plan through their local hospital or health system, though 65 percent were unsure if such a provider-sponsored plan would provide higher quality care.
  • Consumers care the least about brand and the most about the coverage benefits they receive when choosing a health plan.
  • In the past 12 months, 30 percent said they had avoided recommended healthcare or prescriptions due to cost concerns.
  • Seventy-three percent of respondents report being very or somewhat satisfied with their current health insurer.

To learn more:
- here's the survey results

Related Articles:
Employer-sponsored plan enrollment steady
Number of uninsured Americans dropped by nearly 16 million since 2013
Survey: Uninsured adults say coverage costs are too high
Employer-based coverage growing faster than exchange, Medicaid plans

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