Healthcare More Important to Americans Than Salary

I typically do no put much credibility in these types of surveys, but in this case my nearly fifty-years designing, managing and communicating employee benefits tells me these results are quite reasonable, perhaps even overly optimistic.

New Survey Data from Lively, Inc. Reveals a Tension Between Financial and Physical Health for American Families

The results of this study capture how Americans make crucial healthcare decisions based on their personal finances and their ability to pay for health-related expenses, such as insurance coverage and doctor visits. 

Key findings of the Wellness & Wealth: Insights for Employers Report show:

Healthcare coverage is by far the most important employee benefit when it comes to choosing or staying with an employer.

Out of 11 popular employee benefits, including competitive salary and 401(k), almost 40 percent of employees chose healthcare as the most important benefit when thinking of switching jobs or staying at a job.

The majority of Americans (76 percent) rank healthcare in their top three priorities when considering workplace benefits. 

Additional findings from the Wellness & Wealth Report include:

Medical and healthcare costs come as a surprise to a large portion of employees.

🤑Three in four Americans are surprised by how high their medical bills are when they receive them.

🤑One in three employees are unsure how much of their paycheck goes to healthcare costs (including health insurance and out-of-pocket costs).  

Employees have a mixed understanding of their employer benefits, and understanding decreases with younger generations.

While close to a third of people surveyed do not have health benefits through an employer, the majority of those who do say they understand their benefits.

Although employees report the best understanding of 401(k)s as a benefit, less than 50 percent completely understand them. 

Less than 1 in 3 Americans completely understand any of the following healthcare terms:

😷Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

😷Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

😷Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)

😷Health Savings Account (HSA)

😷High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

😷Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

One comment

  1. I might believe the preference for 100% employer paid, full health coverage with no point of purchase cost sharing over a “competitive” salary ( however that was defined) if this study was performed by an independent firm using conjoint analysis. But, I see no evidence that method was used, and the study was performed by a firm selling HSA services.


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