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November 19, 2007
Would Employees Trade Healthcare Coverage for Equivalent Income?
A recent survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) asked employees if they would be willing to exchange their health benefits for an additional $7,500 in taxable income, which was about the average per-employee cost of health benefits for employees and their dependents in 2006. The collective answer from employees was a definitive "no."

According to the 2007 Health Confidence Survey, 76 percent of employees would choose the employer provided health coverage over an additional $7,500 in taxable income. In order for these workers to give up their coverage, 22 percent say that their employer would have to give them an additional $10,00, and 25 percent said their employer would have to give them $15,000 or more. Meanwhile, 15 percent said that no amount of additional taxable income would be enough for them to give up their employer-provided coverage.

The bottom line: American workers value their employment-based health benefits above the actual dollar amount that employers pay toward the coverage, according to EBRI.

Meanwhile, the survey reported that most employees are confident that their employer will continue to provide such coverage. Twenty-eight percent reported they were "extremely" confident that their employer would continue to provide healthcare benefits, 30 percent were "very" confident, and 28 percent were "somewhat" confident. A total of 12 percent of respondents were "not too" confident (6 percent) or "not at all" confident (6 percent).

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