Employees care deeply about the quality of their insurance, but feel confused about its coverage and costs, and are still unsure about new requirements imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

And that has implications for employers when 4 out of 5 workers say health care coverage influences whether they stay on the job, or take a new job. 

According to the research findings by BambooHR, employees also need to know so much in order to effectively use their health care plans they say it can be overwhelming. 

The company recently asked more than 1,000 U.S.-based employees for thoughts on their health care insurance. In a release, they summarized that employees "could use a more detailed overview and stronger guidance regarding year-to-year changes.” 

Here are some of the survey's findings:

• 77% don’t understand how the ACA will impact tax filings

• 63% don’t know when they can switch plans (during open enrollment or when a life-changing event occurs)

48% don’t know what the penalty is for not having insurance that meets ACA requirements

• 27% don’t know if their insurance plan is ACA-compliant

Aspects of employer-provided health coverage that employees said they did not understand or were uncomfortable using included:

•  How the out-of-pocket maximum works (55% of employees surveyed)

• Submitting claims (54%)

• What the premium covers (49%)

• How the deductible works (44%)

• In-network versus out-of-network providers (39%)

• Cost of their monthly premium (33%)

Relatedly, employees said they were not satisfied with their:

• Out-of-pocket maximums (69%)

• Coverage percentages (64%)

• Deductible amounts (60%)

• Monthly premiums (55%)

• Options within the network (52%)

• All of these aspects (25%)

A large majority (70%) of employees view increased health care costs as a pay cut, but the majority of them don’t blame the company:

 48% of respondents resent the government for increased costs

• 16% resent their employer

So what can employers do to increase employees’ understanding and satisfaction with their health care benefits? The firm advised the following:

 Find out what your employees don’t know. Send out a survey to see what they need help with. Then, hold an educational meeting to fill those knowledge gaps.

 Find out which parts of their plan employees aren’t happy with. Figure out what your employees will appreciate and incorporate those features next time you select a plan. For example, do employees want a health savings account match, or would they prefer to have gym membership reimbursement? 


Tags: Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Health care coverage, BambooHR