FEDweek

Health Care Seen as Most Important Work Benefit

Health insurance remains the most important benefit to workers, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute study, with 87 percent calling it important or very important to them–more than the 77 percent responding similarly regarding their retirement savings plan and the 72 percent for vision and dental care.

“Workers overwhelmingly consider health insurance to be the most important workplace benefit when considering whether to stay in a current job or choose a new job,” it said in a report on the latest version of a poll taken annually for 20 years.

However, overall workers are only “moderately satisfied with the benefits package offered by their employer.” Of those polled, for example, about a fifth said their employer does not offer health insurance and a quarter said it does not offer a retirement savings plan and a third said it does not offer long-term care insurance–in contrast to the federal government, which offers each to nearly all of its employees.

However, the poll also found that certain benefits the government doesn’t offer are common in the private sector. Fifty-eight percent said their employer offers short-term disability insurance, 28 percent accident insurance, 21 percent supplemental health insurance, 19 percent critical illness insurance and 16 percent cancer insurance.