Health care and choice

Most Americans are satisfied with their health care, including those covered by employer-sponsored health insurance, much of which is in the form of managed care. That is according to a survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

However, the majority of workers covered by employer-sponsored health plans would like more choice of plans, and most say they could do as well or better than their employer in picking insurance coverage on their own if they were given a choice through a defined contribution health plan.

"Defined contribution" is used to describe a variety of approaches to health benefits. For instance, the American Medical Association favours individually selected and owned health insurance, an end to the federal income tax exclusion for health benefits compensation, and refundable tax credits to help people purchase health insurance.

According to an EBRI survey of Americans' attitudes on health care:

  • 88 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their health care.

  • Of those who received health insurance through their employers, three out of five thought they would do as well or better than their employer if they were given the responsibility of purchasing their own health coverage.

  • And nearly two out of three would prefer more choices in the health plans available to them through their employer.

    Source: Health Confidence Survey – 2001 Results, Employee Benefits Research Institute, October 9, 2001; Donald Palmisano (American Medical Association) and James Bentle (American Hospital Association), Two Views on Defined Contribution Health Benefits, EBRI Notes, October 2001.

    For survey
    For EBRI Notes (requires subscription)

    For more on Defined Contribution Health Care

    FMF Policy Bulletin\13 November 2001
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