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An ‘intensifying desire for real wage growth’ noted
Nearly 70 percent of American workers said they were satisfied with the mix of wages and health benefits they receive, while 12 percent said they would trade wages to get more health benefits, and 19 percent would surrender some health benefits for higher wages. The percentage reporting that they would rather have fewer health benefits and higher wages has nearly doubled from 10 percent in 2012 to 19 percent in 2014.
“This growing interest in trading benefits for wages may reflect an intensifying desire for real wage growth in the wake of the Great Recession,” wrote Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program and co-author of the report.
Among other survey highlights, “Choice of health plans is important to workers, and they would like more choices,” Fronstin noted. “But most workers express confidence that their employers or unions have selected the best available health plan—and they are not as confident in their ability to choose the best available plan if their employers or unions did, in fact, stop offering coverage.”
EBRI found that if current tax preferences for employment-based health benefits were to change, and the benefits were to become taxable to employees, nearly half (47 percent) of individuals say they would continue with their current level of coverage. This is up from 40 percent in 2012.
Among other survey findings:
The report, "Views on Employment-Based Health Benefits: Findings from the 2014 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey," was published
in the February 2015
Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow him on Twitter
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