Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Survey: Workers treasure Health Insurance more than competitive pay

Employees value health insurance the most as a benefit according to a recent survey about what employees treasure most about their jobs.

Comprehensive health benefits also were among the top three reasons employees remain in jobs long term, according to the survey by Kronos Inc., a consulting company based in Boston.

"You are insuring risk," said John Heywood, director of the master's program in human resources and labor relations at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Peace of mind - not just for an employee, Heywood noted, but also for his or her family - has become increasingly costly.

Employer-based coverage cost on average $11,480 a year for family coverage and $4,242 for single coverage in 2006, according to an annual survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association.

"It is just not affordable for most people," said Cheryl Maranto, chair of the management department at Marquette University.

The survey, "Working in America: The Key to Employee Satisfaction," was done online and included 1,233 people.

It also found that an employer's paying the total cost of health insurance was a more desirable benefit than a competitive salary.

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