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Survey: Taxing health insurance would prompt workers to make changes

By , - Last modified: December 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM

If employer-provided health insurance became subject to taxes, more than half of American workers would seek changes, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2012 Health Confidence Survey.

The newly released survey said that if employment-based coverage became taxable to workers, 26 percent would want to switch to a less-costly plan, 21 percent would want to shop for coverage directly from insurers and 9 percent would want to drop coverage altogether.

However, nearly 39 percent say they would continue with their current level of coverage, up from 29 percent from last year’s HCS findings.

Industry observers have said making health benefits taxable to workers may come up in the fiscal cliff discussions.

Other findings from the report:

• 38 percent of employees prefer to continue getting coverage as they do today. Thirty-four percent preferred to choose their insurance plan, have their employers give them the money that was being spent on their behalf and then pay the remaining amounts themselves. Twenty-three percent prefer that their employers give them the money and allow the workers to decide whether to purchase coverage and how much to spend.

• About 75 percent are satisfied with the health benefits they currently receive, while 15 percent would trade wages to get more health benefits and 9 percent would surrender health benefits for higher wages.

EBRI is a private, nonprofit research institute based in Washington, D.C.


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