Employers Attitudes Toward Patients Rights

A national survey of employers, released jointly by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, found that smaller employers (3 to 199 employees) are significantly more likely than larger employers (200 or more employers) to support a person’s right to sue a health plan, and somewhat more likely to support the right to appeal a health plan’s decision to an independent reviewer. Two-thirds (67%) of smaller employers express support for the right to sue a health plan compared to 28% of larger employers. Eighty-six percent (86%) of smaller employers and 74% of larger employers support independent review. However, the survey found that support for both the right to sue and independent review decreases if employers are told that the cost of health insurance might increase as a result.

A separate national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation of very small businesses only — those with 3 to 24 employees — found that 68% favor a federal law increasing patient protections, including the right to sue health plans, while 24% oppose such a law. Again, support drops when those surveyed hear that such a law would increase the cost of health insurance (48% favor, 40% oppose).