Originally posted December 20, 2013 by Amanda McGrory-Dixon on https://ebn.benefitnews.com

When it comes to their health benefits, most employees say they’re happy with their current offerings and lack interest in altering their balance of benefits and wages, according to a new survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Specifically, 12% of respondents say they are extremely satisfied with their plans, 39% of respondents say they are very satisfied, and 37% of respondents say they are somewhat satisfied. Just 10% responded in a negative fashion. Since the survey was first initiated, the number of respondents who report feeling happy with their benefits has generally been high.

“By far, health insurance, in particular, continues to be the most important employee benefit to workers,” says Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program and author of the survey.

The survey also finds that there is uncertainty whether employers will still offer health insurance for employees in the future because of the Affordable Care Act; however, benefits are a key factor in choosing a job.

“While there may be a lot of questions about the future of the American health insurance system, the majority of those who have health coverage like the plan they have,” says Ruth Helman of Greenwald and Associates, co-author of the report.

If changes to tax preferences for employment-based health coverage were implemented, making benefits taxable, 39% of respondents report that they would keep their current amount of coverage. This is nearly at the same level of 40% in 2012, though up from 31% in 2011.

According to the survey, most respondents agree they would like more choices in health plans; however they are not sure that they could choose health insurance, much less the best plan, using an objective rating system, which is included in the exchange system.

Instead, 35% of respondents say they prefer to keep receiving health insurance from their current plans while 45% of respondents report that they would rather choose their insurance and have their employers pay what they are paying now for that coverage. Another 21% say they would prefer their employers give them money to spend on health insurance as they please.