A Watson Wyatt news release about its survey of nearly 2,100 U.S. workers said the poll found that more than half (51%) of respondents are highly concerned that they won’t be able to pay for health care coverage when they retire.
More than one-third (35%) of respondents are concerned
that a major medical expense would lead to their financial
ruin. Many workers are also worried about the impact of
rising costs in the near term. Two in three (68%) believe
their deductibles and copayments will increase in the next
two years; more than half are worried that their employer
will reduce their health benefits coverage.
According to the survey, 12% of workers have reduced
contributions to their retirement savings plans because of
higher health care costs, while 18% have cut back on
contributions to other savings. About one in four workers
also reported higher stress levels due to rising health
The majority (61%) of workers say they see a connection
between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and controlling
cost increases. Moreover, many employees are willing to
make changes in their lifestyle to improve their current
health status – 31% are in the process of doing so, and 27%
are considering making a change.
The survey found that six in ten employees have tried to
take better care of themselves, with 37% getting an annual
physical. In addition, 42% are attempting to control health
expenditures by choosing a lower-cost drug option when
The Watson Wyatt survey, “Employee Perspectives on
Health Care: Voice of the Consumer,” was conducted in
January 2007. A total of 2,099 randomly selected workers
participated in the survey. All respondents were full-time
U.S. employees of large, nongovernmental companies who
participate in their employer-sponsored health plan.