'2010 Health Confidence Survey: Health Reform Does Not Increase Confidence in the Health Care System,' and 'Retirement Income Adequacy for Today’s Workers: How Certain, How Much Will It Cost, and How Does Eligibility for Participation in a Defined Contribution Plan Help?'

September 2010, Vol. 31, No. 9
Paperback, 24 pp.
PDF, 2,690 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2010

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Executive Summary

2010 Health Confidence Survey: Health Reform Does Not Increase Confidence in the Health Care System


THE LATEST HCS: Findings from the 2010 Health Confidence Survey (HCS) demonstrate that, despite the recent passage of health reform, dissatisfaction with the American health care system remains widespread. Furthermore, while confidence regarding various aspects of today’s health care system is not high, it has neither fallen nor increased as a result of passage of health reform.


EFFECT OF PPACA YET TO BE FELT: Since health reform was enacted just in March of this year, and implementing regulations have yet to be fully issued, the impact of the law—the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA)—has yet to be felt. The survey finds most Americans do not know when the legislation takes full effect.


OWN PLANS ARE RATED HIGHLY: Americans’ ratings of their own health plan are generally favorable. Fifty-eight percent of those with health insurance coverage are extremely or very satisfied with their current plan, and 30 percent are somewhat satisfied, the HCS finds.


DOUBTS ABOUT FUTURE OF HEALTH BENEFITS: Confidence in the future availability of employment-based health benefits fell. In 2010, 52 percent of individuals with employment-based coverage reported that they were extremely or very confident that their (or their spouse’s) employer or union would continue to offer health insurance, down from 59 percent in 2009. The decline may be due to passage of health reform, the continuing weak economy, or both.


Retirement Income Adequacy for Today’s Workers: How Certain, How Much Will It Cost, and How Does Eligibility for Participation in a Defined Contribution Plan Help?


BUILDING ON RSPM:® This analysis builds on EBRI’s Retirement Security Projection Model® (RSPM) to determine how much households need to save each year until retirement to maintain a probability level they will be able to afford simulated retirement expenses for the remainder of the lifetime of the family unit.


IMPACT OF DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLANS: The RSPM® model shows that eligibility for a defined contribution (primarily 401(k)) retirement plan has a significant positive impact on reducing the additional compensation most families need to achieve the desired level of retirement income adequacy. This finding has major implications for any policies that would decrease the percentage of workers eligible to participate in defined contribution retirement plans.