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Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance May Be Here to Stay

Majority of Americans are satisfied with the status quo, employers wary of big changes

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- While large employers are open to innovative improvements to the current system of employer-sponsored health insurance, they are typically wary of major changes to the way health care is financed in the United States, such as the introduction of shared responsibility for covering the uninsured, according to an article published in the Oct. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Robert S. Galvin, M.D., of Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., writes that despite their concerns about the increasing and unpredictable cost of offering employee health benefits, employers consider health insurance as a key element in attracting and retaining staff, and they subscribe to the belief that healthier employees are more productive.

The current system of employer-sponsored insurance is seen as an imperfect system, but employers are wary of comprehensive changes, and have a strong drive to retain control over what they pay for, the author states.

"Policymakers need to educate businesses about the impact that care for the uninsured has on companies' health care costs. They also need to work with employers to spell out what shared responsibility for covering the uninsured would look like," Galvin writes. "Although few employers are expert in the details of health care reform, they are good at assessing the value of a deal -- and knowing a good one when they see it."

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