Workers Looking For More From Health Plans

August 2, 2001 ( - Over half the workers questioned in a recent study want more choices in their employer sponsored health plans - and are also willing to pay more for less restrictive plans.

In addition the survey by Watson Wyatt revealed that more than half (54%) of worker respondents were willing to pay larger co-payments, while a quarter would prefer paying higher premiums.

Defined Contribution

According to the 2001 Best Practices in Health Care Vendor Management study, 39% of workers also favor a defined contribution payment system, where employees receive money from the employer to purchase their own insurance. On the flip side, almost a quarter of those surveyed object to the model.


  • the vast majority, 92%, still want their employer to facilitate enrollment and premium payment,
  • some 86% want their employers to intervene if a plan denies payment or treatment,
  • the same number want their companies to monitor administrative performance, while
  • just over 80% want them to negotiate price and performance standards, and
  • almost 80% want them to screen plans for quality

Employers Say:

And even though their employees want more plan choices, only 15% of companies say adding more health plan choices is a high priority. In fact,

  • the majority, 83% believes that adding options would increase the administrative burden,
  • almost 80% say it would increase employee confusion,
  • three-quarters say it would reduce negotiating clout,
  • while only half say it would improve employee satisfaction

Results are based on interviews with 255 large employers and survey responses from more than 10,000 workers at 18 organizations.