Participants Fear Loss of Employer Mandate to Offer Health Care Coverage

Survey results indicate that 67% of Americans reported at least one chronic health condition.

An annual survey from the national nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS) shows that one of the three biggest fears of Americans aware of the health care debates in Washington, D.C., is the loss of employers’ mandate to offer health care coverage.

Perhaps the reason, the survey found, is that over two-thirds (67%) of Americans reported having at least one chronic health condition, and 19% cited managing a chronic illness or condition—e.g., heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure—as one of their top two most important health-related priorities.

“Year after year, we have found that affordability is top of mind for Americans, plus a substantial proportion of employed adults are not sure they are taking advantage of the health care savings offered by their employer,” says Hector De La Torre, executive director of TCHS. “It is crucial that individuals understand their health care options.”

Some highlights of the employer-focused part of the survey include the following:

Lack of Mobility
Fifty-one percent of employed Americans feel they must stay at their current job because they need the health insurance; 24% said they had to leave a previous job because the company did not offer health insurance.

Role of Employers

A strong majority of employees (77%) said they are satisfied with the health insurance plans and other health benefits available to them through work. Most Americans feel that employers should try to improve their employees’ health and that this effort would likely strengthen worker commitment to their jobs.

Reported after salary as being very important to overall job satisfaction were health care benefits (60%), retirement benefits (56%) and financial strength/stability of the company (55%).


Less than half of employees are offered workplace wellness/health promotion programs, but most who have the option participate in some way. Two in five employees (40%) said their employer offers a workplace wellness/health promotion program, and, of those with access to such programs, 60% said they have participated within the last year.

More employees would like to be incentivized by receiving lower health insurance premiums if they participate in a workplace wellness program, and most are—although many are unclear as to whether those savings come through their employer.

Healthcare Consumers in a Time of Uncertainty is an online survey of more than 4,600 Americans, ages 18 through 64, that was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of TCHS.

For further information on participant health care concerns, see the 2017 PLANSPONSOR Participant Survey.