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Commonwealth Fund Supplement to the 2003 National Organizations Study

Country: United States

Survey Organization: National Opinion Research Center

Field Dates: October 24, 2002 to May 16, 2003

Sample: Employers, including self-employed

Sample Size: 516

Interview Method: 55-minute interviews with human resource or hiring managers

Historically, employers have been the primary source of health insurance coverage for working-age Americans and their dependents.

Yet, according to a recent survey of 453 employers, the job-based health system is under stress. The Commonwealth Fund Supplement to the 2003 National Organizations Study finds that double-digit increases in health insurance premiums led employers to shift more of their health care costs to employees in 2002–03. Among companies offering health insurance, a third (33%) increased employees' copayments or coinsurance in 2002, a third (31%) increased their employees' share of premiums, and a quarter (25%) raised deductibles.

But the survey also finds that most employers who offer health insurance see it as a core part of their compensation packages—a benefit that improves morale and productivity and makes it easier to recruit and retain employees. Many employers said they were very willing to help administer tax credits if they became available to employees to buy insurance coverage. In addition, many employers would help their employees gain coverage through Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

To view the survey questions, download the questionnaire, posted at right. To read an analysis of the survey, see the Fund publication under Related Resources, on the right.

For information about the NOS survey apart from the Fund's supplement, please contact Tom Smith at the National Opinion Research Center.