Kaiser Family Foundation/LA Times Survey Of Adults With Employer-Sponsored Insurance

Section 1: Profile of adults with employer-sponsored health insurance and overall views of coverage

Sixty percent of adults ages 18-64 in the United States have health insurance coverage through an employer or union. Census data show that, compared to the general population, these adults have higher incomes and education levels and are more likely to be White or Asian and less likely to be Black or Hispanic.1

The survey finds that most people with employer-sponsored health coverage (73 percent) say they pay at least part of their premium for their insurance, while 16 percent say their employer pays the whole thing. When asked about their annual deductible for medical care, 15 percent say they have no deductible and 44 percent report a deductible of less than $1,500 for an individual or less than $3,000 for a family (defined for the purposes of this report as “lower deductible”). Four in ten (41 percent) report having plans with higher deductible amounts, including 20 percent with deductibles between $1,500 and $2,999 for an individual or between $3,000 and $4,999 for a family (“higher deductible”) and 21 percent with deductibles of at least $3,000 for an individual or $5,000 for a family (“highest deductible”). About one in six (18 percent) report having a higher or highest deductible plan paired with a health savings account (HSA).

Figure 1: Four In Ten Adults With Employer-Sponsored Insurance Report Having High Deductible Plans

Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of people with employer coverage say their insurance covers other family members in addition to themselves, while 36 percent report having single coverage. While nearly nine in ten (88 percent) describe their own health status as “excellent,” “very good,” or “good,” just over half (54 percent) say that they or another family member covered by their plan has a chronic condition, the most common being hypertension or high blood pressure (30 percent), a serious mental health condition (15 percent), asthma or other breathing problems (14 percent), and diabetes (11 percent).

Figure 2: Half of Those With Employer-Sponsored Insurance Say They Or A Family Member Has At Least One Chronic Condition

Overall, most people with employer coverage report being happy with their insurance. Nearly seven in ten (68 percent) give their health plan a grade of “A” or “B,” and large shares say the words “grateful” (72 percent) and “content” (69 percent) describe the way they feel about their insurance, while far fewer identify with words like “frustrated” (26 percent), “confused” (23 percent), or “angry” (14 percent). More than half (58 percent) say they think their employer is offering them the best health insurance they can afford. However, a substantial share – 42 percent – believe their employer could be providing something better.

It’s notable that these views differ greatly depending on the deductible level of an individual’s plan. For example, among those in the highest deductible plans, over half (55 percent) give their plan a grade of “C” or below, and half (51 percent) say their employer could be providing something better. While positive emotions still outweigh negative emotions for this group, the gap is much narrower, with 58 percent saying they feel “grateful,” and 50 percent “content,” while four in ten say they feel “frustrated,” 34 percent “confused,” and 23 percent “angry.”

Figure 3: Most Give Plans Passing Grades, But Less So For Those With High Deductibles

Figure 4: Most Say Employer Is Offering Best Insurance They Can, But Those With Highest Deductibles More Split

Figure 5: Positive Emotions Towards Health Plans Outweigh Negatives, But Less So For Those With High Deductibles

In addition, while most people in plans with no or lower deductibles say their health insurance has “stayed about the same” in the past 5 years, four in ten (39 percent) of those in higher deductible plans and half of those in the highest deductible plans say their insurance has “gotten worse.”

Figure 6: Those In High Deductible Plans More Likely To Say Insurance Has Gotten Worse In Past 5 Years

Executive Summary Section 2: Affordability of health care and insurance