On June 9, 2009, Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co. released results of a nationwide survey that it conducted of 1,181 full-time employees. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of the employees surveyed were enrolled in an insurance program provided by their employer or spouse’s employer. Most of the respondents reported changes to their employer-provided insurance coverage. The survey indicated the following employee concerns:
- Eighty-six percent (86%) are concerned about unexpected medical expenses such as emergency room visits and major surgery;
- Eighty-three percent (83%) are concerned about increasing premiums and decreasing coverage;
- Eighty-one percent (81%) are concerned about additional or increasing deductable amounts; and
- Seventy-nine percent (79%) are concerned about additional or increasing co-payment amounts.
Clearly the majority of employees are worried about maintaining their health coverage and focused on changes their employers have made to their health, disability or life insurance coverage since the 2008 open-enrollment season.
Forty-nine (49%) of the survey’s respondents saw changes to their coverage from 2008 to 2009. Among those indicating changes:
- Sixty-five percent (65%) report the addition of an increase in premiums;
- Fifty-six percent (56%) report the addition or increase in co-pay amounts;
- Forty-eight percent (48%) report the addition or increase in deductibles; and
- Thirteen percent (13%) report elimination of one or more types of insurance coverage such as their life, health, or disability coverage.
In addition, the survey indicated that employees are concerned about inadequate coverage:
- Thirty-five percent (35%) believe their plans inadequately protect them should they be unable to earn an income for an extended time due to illness or injury;
- Twenty-eight percent (28%) believe they may not have adequate coverage for a serious illness such as a cancer, stroke or heart attack;
- Nineteen percent (19%) believe their plans may not adequately cover an unexpected emergency room visit or the death of a primary wage earner; and
- Thirteen percent (13%) believe their plan may not adequately cover basic medical care, including preventative care.
Seventy-eight (78%) of the survey respondents expressed considerable interest in purchasing supplemental coverage and voluntary benefits to help pay for some of the expenses not currently covered by their insurance plans.