Nearly 75% Of Employees Will Swap Health Insurance Plan Features for Significant Savings, Centivo Survey Reveals

A recent Centivo survey of employees with employer-sponsored health insurance demonstrated just how willing employees are to modify core plan features if these “tradeoffs” translate into better healthcare affordability. In fact, nearly three quarters (73%) of survey respondents say they would do so if they realized savings of 10-30% compared to their existing health plans. These findings come from the Centivo Healthcare and Financial Sacrifices Survey, 2021. Centivo conducted the survey in August 2021 among 805 US adults ages 18-64 with employer-sponsored private health insurance.

“Human Resources leaders often believe that their employees will never accept health plan modifications that in any way limit or guide healthcare choices, even if these changes could be highly advantageous from a cost perspective,” said Alan Cohen, chief product officer, Centivo. “The good news is that our survey results prove this conventional wisdom amongst employers is actually a myth that for far too long has served as a barrier to dramatic affordability improvements.”

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The most popular tradeoffs among respondents include some changes to core features of common health plans. For example, exactly half of respondents (50%) say they are willing to accept referrals for specialists as a requirement. Nearly that same percentage (47%) say they were comfortable with selecting a primary care physician (PCP) from a defined list. Perhaps most surprisingly, close to one-third (30%) say they will give up their current PCP and more than one quarter (28%) would stop seeing a current specialist (see Figure 1).

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“The healthcare affordability crisis facing US workers is well documented within the business community and society at large,” said Cohen. “To truly help reverse this trend, however, employers and the advisors who serve them should feel empowered to make health plan changes that historically were viewed as highly disruptive. Their employees are in fact ready, willing and able to embrace significant health plan sacrifices for meaningful financial savings.”

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