Employers struggling to afford group health coverage for employees

Most employers are looking at options to offer coverage while avoiding the costs of a group health plan; employees want more control and more options

A survey from eHealth Inc. found that the majority (51%) of business owners are struggling to cover the cost of employer-sponsored group plans, 60% struggle with the monthly premiums of the plans, and 87% want another way to help employees get insured without offering a traditional group plan.

“Our survey suggests that many employers are unsatisfied with the standard group health insurance model – and many employees feel the same way,” said eHealth CEO Fran Soistman, in a statement.

Employees surveyed are looking for better options and more control when it comes to their health care. About half (49%) say they are given one or two health options by their employer, and 58% say their employer-sponsored plan options are not well aligned with their needs. Employees also say by an overwhelming margin (90%) that you should be able to take your health plan with you when you leave a job, while 74% say they would prefer to choose their health plan based on options in their area rather than select from those chosen by their employer. A strong majority (80%) say they would have been more satisfied with their job if their employer had offered $200-$400 per month to purchase their own health care plan.

Employers recognize the benefits of having health coverage for employees. Business owners said they “strongly agree” (52%) or “agree” (42%) that supporting employee health coverage helps them hire and retain the best workers. Only 7% disagreed with the statement. Of the employers not currently offering health coverage, 57% said they would offer it if they could afford it.

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