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12th Annual Health Confidence Survey: Americans Show Support for Several Health Coverage Options, But Their Views Could Change as More Details Emerge
Date:6/11/2009

aid.
  • 75 percent support some form of an employer mandate to subsidize coverage.
  • 68 percent support a mandate requiring individuals to obtain coverage, but only 22 percent support fines for those who do not comply.

  • On another key issue, the survey finds that if the current tax exclusion of health benefits were capped (as some have proposed), 47 percent of respondents would switch to a less costly plan if the exclusion were set at $5,000, 38 percent would keep their plan and pay the taxes, and 9 percent do not know what they would do.

    However, the Issue Brief includes a note of caution about all the options: "These opinions may change as details emerge, especially as they concern financing," write co-authors Paul Fronstin of EBRI and Ruth Helman of Greenwald.

    The survey includes a number of other findings. Among them:

    • If employers stopped offering coverage and gave workers the money, 17 percent of respondents are extremely or very confident that they could afford to purchase coverage on own, 28 percent are somewhat confident, and 54 percent are not too or not at all confident.
    • Only 14 percent of Americans think the health care system needs a major overhaul, but 51 percent agree with the statement "there are some good things about our health care system, but major changes are needed."
    • A majority rate the nation's health care system as fair (30 percent) or poor (29 percent). Only a small minority give it excellent (6 percent) or very good (10 percent) marks.
    • Many consumers report they are changing the way they use the health care system in response to rising health care costs. Seventy-nine percent of those who experienced increases in the amounts they are responsible for paying under their health insura
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    SOURCE Employee Benefit Research Institute
    Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
    All rights reserved

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