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A good health plan at work leads to employee loyalty

Businesses that provide sound employee insurance benefits packages generate more loyalty among their workers, according to The Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America's recently released Workplace Benefits Study.

To draw conclusions about businesses and their employees, the study used findings from separate Internet surveys conducted concurrently with 1,667 benefits plan participants and 1,071 plan sponsors. It found that two-thirds of workers feel that employee benefits are very important when deciding to keep a job. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed said that benefits also are very important when deciding on a new job.

Health plan scores

The study also found that employees, on average, give their benefits packages a 6.8 rating on a scale of 1 to 10. That score shows that employees like insurance benefits from work, "but it also suggests that there probably is some room for improvement," says Gene Lanzoni, the company's assistant vice president of market intelligence.

Good health insurance plans lead to employee satisfactionThe workplace long has been an important source of affordable medical insurance and life insurance. Attracting and retaining workers are two traditional reasons businesses have offered insurance benefits, says Lanzoni. In addition to helping businesses understand their workers' insurance needs, the study will help Guardian develop new products and services, he adds.

Here's more about the basics of group health insurance.

Differing perceptions among workers and employers

On average, about half of workers surveyed by Guardian say they are highly satisfied with their overall benefits packages, while 42 percent of employers say their workers are highly satisfied. More than one in 10 of the workers report that satisfaction with their overall benefits package has worsened in the past year, compared to just 5 percent of employers.

"There appears to be general agreement between employees and employers (though workers are more emphatic) that benefits programs are not well understood/appreciated or simply not meeting the needs of many workers," the Guardian study says.

Workers at larger companies, with a median of 500 employees, tend to have better benefit offerings, benefits-support and employer contributions. Not surprisingly, they score their insurance significantly higher.

"The larger the company, certainly the more robust the benefits are [and] the more likely that the employer contributes toward the benefits," says Lanzoni.

Getting the most from health insurance

Insurance carriers and employers need to do more to help employees get the most from their insurance benefits, Elena Wu, Guardian's vice president for group marketing and learning services, said in a press statement.

Wu suggests that businesses and insurers "increase the effectiveness of their benefits programs in order to help their employees be better protected and feel more confident about their benefits, which can contribute to greater satisfaction and long-term engagement with their employer."

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