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Over Half Of Americans Insured Under Employee-Sponsored Healthcare Say Paid Maternity Leave Is Very Important Or Absolutely Essential

A recent online survey of American adults, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Collective Health, revealed that over half (53 percent) of Americans who are insured under an employer-sponsored healthcare plan said paid maternity leave is very important or absolutely essential and more people seem to value it compared to other workplace benefits such as behavioral health, wellness programs, paid paternity leave and fertility treatment.

The online poll asked more than 2,000 U.S. adults (ages 18 and up) about what employer-sponsored healthcare benefits they thought were important, the types of benefits their employer-sponsored plan offered and their understanding of what benefits were covered under their employer-sponsored healthcare plan.

The survey also found that, in addition to paid maternity leave, Americans want paid family benefits across the board. Over a third of Americans (38 percent) said that paid paternity leave was very important or absolutely essential, and 63 percent agree it is at least somewhat important that employers offer coverage for fertility treatments in their benefits plan.

A previous poll conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Collective Health in December 2015 also found that healthcare benefits drive career decisions, especially amongst the demographic most likely to have or consider having children1. When deciding on a new job, three quarters (75 percent) of millennial women say healthcare benefits would factor into their decision of where to work. 50 percent of millennial women who would consider health care benefits when deciding where to work said their likelihood to accept a position within a company would be impacted if the costs and coverage aren’t reasonable.

Yet employers’ benefits offerings don’t always match up with the coverage their employees deem important. Just less than half of employed adults (47 percent) said that their company offers paid maternity leave and a quarter (26 percent) said that their company offers paid paternity leave.

Even when expectations are met, employees are still confused if they are covered or how to take advantage of these types of benefits: nearly a quarter of employed Americans (24 percent) said they were unsure whether their plan covered paid maternity leave and 34 percent were unsure if their company offered paid paternity leave. Among those insured under an employer-sponsored healthcare plan, 59 percent do not know if they have fertility coverage, while 7 in 10 (70 percent) say they wouldn’t know what, if anything, they would be covered for if they or their partner were to seek fertility treatment.

“Employers want to take care of their people. They spend over $1 trillion dollars a year—more than a third of America's total annual healthcare spend—on health insurance for their employees and their families,2” said Dr. Rajaie Batniji, chief health officer and co-founder, Collective Health. “But, creating a benefits program for your workplace can often be confusing. By understanding the coverage that your people want most—as well as investing in ways to help your employees fully understand the benefits available to them—you can potentially save money and create a happier workforce.”

While some companies have been slow to provide these types of family benefits for their people, paid family benefits have surged amongst large employers. In recent years, Netflix, Adobe, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo! and Amazon have all adopted family leave policies that are 100 percent paid3. At least 60 percent of large employers with 500 or more employees offer some type of fertility benefit4 and we’re also seeing more benefits beyond just parental leave. Companies such as Activision Blizzard and Deloitte are setting the bar when it comes to offering paid time-off for elder care or caregivers5.

Employees appear to be frequently making the quality of employer-sponsored healthcare benefits a major part of their decision to join a company. In fact, over three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans say that competitive healthcare benefits are more important to them than other workplace perks. Studies have also shown that investing in a rich benefits program for your people doesn’t only attract top talent, but can make for a more happy and loyal workforce6.

Survey Methodology

The 2016 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Collective Health from August 26-30, 2016 among 2,025 adults ages 18 and older. The 2015 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Collective Health from December 3-7, 2015 among 2,018 adults ages 18 and older. When referring to employed adults throughout the release, we mean Americans who are employed full-time or part-time. For complete survey results and methodology, including weighting variables, please contact [email protected], or visit https://collectivehealth.com/insights/healthcare-benefit-statistics-2016/.

About Collective Health

Collective Health is a software and services company creating the healthcare experience we all deserve. Its team of engineers, designers and actuaries are starting by redefining the $1 trillion dollar market of employer-sponsored health insurance with data driven products. Using Collective Health’s complete health benefits solution, companies can design, administer and transform the consumer experience of health benefits by harnessing the power of design and technology. Founded in October 2013, Collective Health serves self-insured employers across the U.S. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit https://www.collectivehealth.com.

1 https://collectivehealth.com/insights/consumer-health-benefits-survey-2015/

2 http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2620842

3 https://tcf.org/content/report/tech-companies-paid-leave/

4 https://collectivehealth.com/insights/why-consider-a-fertility-program/

5 http://www.benefitnews.com/news/employers-adopting-more-generous-parental-leave-policies

6 http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2014/01/19/happy-employees-hefty-profits/#54567a404f8b

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