Employer-Sponsored Health Plans Coverage Satisfactory to Most

December 18, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Most US adults with employer-sponsored health insurance feel very or somewhat confident their coverage will meet their needs in the upcoming year.

The latest Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll revealed that nearly nine in 10 (89%) were content with the coverage they had, and relatively few individuals expected to switch (6%) or drop (less than 0.5%) their current plan in 2007, according to a news release.

Most individuals believe their out-of-pocket costs at the point of care – co-pays and deductibles – will be relatively flat in 2007 compared to this year (out-of-pocket for a doctor visit after the deductible 69%, and out-of-pocket for prescription drugs after the deductible 68%).

At the same time, the survey found adults with employer-sponsored health insurance were more likely to anticipate an increase in their monthly premiums (34%), the release said.

The latest findings showed few insured adults are taking advantage of the vehicles designed to allow them to cover out-of-pocket health expenses:

  • Seventeen percent of adults who will have employer-sponsored health insurance next year said they are enrolled or will enroll in flexible spending accounts, while 69% said they will not.
  • Six percent or fewer said they will enroll in medical saving accounts, health reimbursement accounts or health savings accounts.
  • Higher-income individuals were more likely to say they are enrolled in or plan to enroll in such plans.

The online survey of 3,561 adults, ages 18 and older, was conducted by Harris Interactive between November 28 and 30, 2006 for The Wall Street Journal Online’s Health Industry Edition.