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Half Of Insured Americans Agree Employers Not Be Required To Provide Health Insurance

PR Newswire Association LLC

NEW YORK, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As the Supreme Court readies for its ruling on the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), sometimes referred to as "Obamacare", Americans have different opinions on components of the law, depending on the type of health insurance they currently have. Specifically, over half of U.S. adults who have purchased health insurance individually (54%) think employers should not be required to provide employee health insurance compared to only 28% of Americans with employer-sponsored insurance who think this. Additionally, over half of those with individual health insurance (55%) think the government should play a role in assuring access to health insurance, compared to almost two-thirds of Americans with employer-sponsored coverage (64%).

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,208 U.S. adults (ages 18 and over) surveyed online between June 12 and 14, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

Two thirds of Americans (66%) agree that having health insurance should be a personal choice, so there may be some general disapproval of the ACA's individual mandate. However, Americans do agree with some of the ACA's other provisions. For example, over four in five U.S. adults agree that neither children nor adults should be denied health insurance if they have a pre-existing condition (83%) and nearly three-quarters of Americans agree that tax credits should be offered to individuals if they purchase their own health insurance (74%).

However, when looking at the data by the type of insurance respondents currently have, some distinct differences can be seen. Interestingly, among those that have individual coverage, almost half (46%) agree that all people do not need to be covered by health insurance, compared to 30% among those with employer-sponsored coverage and 36% among those that have no insurance at all. Those with individual insurance are also slightly less likely to agree (79%) that adults and children with pre-existing coverage should not be denied coverage, compared to those with employer-sponsored plans (86% adults; 85% children) and Medicare (82% adults; 83% children).

How important 11 aspects of health insurance are

When asked to rate how important 11 different aspects of health insurance are, over nine in ten Americans say access to the doctors, hospitals and services they need is important (91%) while nine in ten say coverage for prescriptions (90%) and availability of insurance if they have a pre-existing condition (90%) are important. Those who have employer sponsored health insurance are more likely than those with insurance they have purchased themselves to say each of the 11 aspects is important when it comes to health insurance. Some of the larger differences are seen when looking at coverage for prescriptions (95% vs. 76%), coverage for preventative care (93% vs. 74%), and coverage for wellness programs (84% vs. 65%).

Additionally, when asked which two things are most important when it comes to health insurance, one aspect rises to the top – two in five Americans say one of the two most important aspects is access to the doctors, hospitals and services they need (39%). The next three are financial as about one-quarter of U.S. adults say financial protection from major health crises (27%), lower out of pocket costs (26%), and low premiums (24%) are most important.

So What?

"The importance of health insurance to the American consumer cannot be understated regardless of the opinion issued by the Supreme Court," said Debra Richman, Senior Vice President of Healthcare Business Development & Strategy at Harris Interactive. "This is especially true for consumers who individually purchase health insurance plans, a market of growing significance to health insurers. It will be imperative for health insurers to increase their focus on how those in the individual market 'consume' health insurance, including what plan features they prefer, and what they will and conversely will not choose to buy.  Financial protection from major health crises, access to providers, convenience, and quality will be key factors as individual health consumers make purchasing decisions, despite how the Supreme Court rules on the individual coverage mandate."

TABLE 1
AMERICANS AND HEALTH INSURANCE
"How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements?"

Base: All adults

 

AGREE

(NET)

Strongly

Agree

Somewhat

Agree

DISAGREE

(NET)

Somewhat

Disagree

Strongly

Disagree

Not at all

sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Children with a pre-existing condition should not be denied coverage by a health insurance company

83

68

15

12

6

6

5

Adults with a pre-existing condition should not be denied coverage by a health insurance company

83

63

19

13

7

6

5

If an individual purchases his/her own health insurance, they should receive a tax credit

74

47

27

17

8

9

9

If employers are not required to provide health insurance, those that do offer it should receive a tax credit

73

40

32

19

11

8

9

If a person doesn't want health insurance, it should be his/her prerogative

66

41

25

28

15

13

6

The government should play a role in assuring access to health insurance

65

35

30

30

12

18

6

All people do not need to be covered by health insurance

33

12

21

61

23

38

6

Employers should not be required to provide health insurance to employees

32

15

17

62

27

36

6

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 2
AMERICANS AND HEALTH INSURANCE – By Type of Insurance
"How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements?"
Percent saying "Strongly/Somewhat Agree"

Base: All adults

 

Total

Type of Health Insurance

Employer

Sponsored

Individually

Purchased

Medicare

Medicaid

No

insurance

%

%

%

%

%

%

Children with a pre-existing condition should not be denied coverage by a health insurance company

83

85

79

83

76

81

Adults with a pre-existing condition should not be denied coverage by a health insurance company

83

86

79

82

83

77

If an individual purchases his/her own health insurance, they should receive a tax credit

74

77

75

72

58

73

If employers are not required to provide health insurance, those that do offer it should receive a tax credit

73

77

71

75

56

64

If a person doesn't want health insurance, it should be his/her prerogative

66

66

69

60

71

68

The government should play a role in assuring access to health insurance

65

64

55

64

70

70

All people do not need to be covered by health insurance

33

30

46

31

36

36

Employers should not be required to provide health insurance to employees

32

28

54

31

34

31

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 3
IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH INSURANCE SPECIFICS
"When it comes to health insurance, how important are each of the following to you?"

Base: All adults

 

IMPORTANT

(NET)

Very

Important

Somewhat

Important

NOT

IMPORTANT

(NET)

Not that Important

Not at all Important

Not at all

sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Access to the doctors, hospitals and services I need

91

79

12

4

2

2

4

Coverage for prescriptions

90

72

18

6

4

2

4

Availability of health insurance if I have a pre-existing condition

90

71

19

7

4

3

4

Lower out of pocket costs

89

66

24

7

5

2

4

Financial protection from major health crises

89

72

17

6

4

2

5

Low premiums

89

63

25

7

4

3

5

Coverage for preventative care

87

65

22

9

6

3

4

High customer service from my health insurance company

86

58

28

9

6

3

5

Availability of health insurance for my family and dependents

85

69

16

10

5

5

4

Availability of health insurance if I lose or change jobs

85

66

19

10

5

5

5

Coverage for wellness programs

82

54

28

14

10

4

4

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 4
IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH INSURANCE SPECIFICS – By Type of Health Insurance
"When it comes to health insurance, how important are each of the following to you?"
Percent saying "Very/Somewhat Important"

Base: All adults

 

TOTAL

Type of Health Insurance

Employer

Sponsored

Individually

Purchased

Medicare

Medicaid

No

insurance

%

%

%

%

%

%

Access to the doctors, hospitals and services I need

91

97

87

90

87

83

Coverage for prescriptions

90

95

76

88

88

85

Availability of health insurance if I have a pre-existing condition

90

94

83

89

83

84

Lower out of pocket costs

89

94

80

88

85

85

Financial protection from major health crises

89

93

88

89

78

80

Low premiums

89

94

83

87

78

82

Coverage for preventative care

87

93

74

89

75

82

High customer service from my health insurance company

86

91

78

88

79

76

Availability of health insurance for my family and dependents

85

90

75

86

78

81

Availability of health insurance if I lose or change jobs

85

93

76

79

78

80

Coverage for wellness programs

82

84

65

84

85

80

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 4
MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF HEALTH INSURANCE
"When thinking about health insurance, which two of the following are most important to you?"

Base: Said at least one component was important

 

TOTAL

Type of Health Insurance

Employer

Sponsored

Individually

Purchased

Medicare

Medicaid

No

insurance

%

%

%

%

%

%

Access to the doctors, hospitals and services I need

39

38

33

49

36

30

Financial protection from major health crises

27

28

33

36

7

17

Lower out of pocket costs

26

27

21

19

24

32

Low premiums

24

23

32

17

12

32

Coverage for prescriptions

23

22

21

28

33

17

Availability of health insurance for my family and dependents

22

27

19

14

26

20

Availability of health insurance if I have a pre-existing condition

16

13

24

16

10

20

Availability of health insurance if I lose or change jobs

10

11

8

6

9

16

Coverage for preventative care

9

8

4

7

16

11

High customer service from my health insurance company

4

2

9

6

6

5

Coverage for wellness programs

3

2

2

3

13

4

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 5
TYPE OF HEALTH INSURANCE AMERICANS HAVE
"What type of health insurance do you currently have?"

Base: All adults

 

TOTAL

 
 

%

 

An employer sponsored health insurance policy

46

 

Medicare plan

22

 

An individually purchased health insurance policy

9

 

Medicaid

5

 

I don't have health insurance

18

 

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United Statesbetween June 12 and 14, 2012 among 2,208 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

The Harris Poll® #47, June 27, 2012

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Press Contacts:
Corporate Communications
Harris Interactive
212-539-9600
press@harrisinteractive.net

SOURCE Harris Interactive

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