'Public Opinion on the Future of Employment-Based Health Benefits: Findings From the 2011 Health Confidence Survey,' and 'How Do Financial Literacy and Financial Behavior Vary by State?'

November 2011, Vol. 32, No. 11
Paperback, 16 pp.
PDF, 969 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2011

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Executive Summary

Public Opinion on the Future of Employment-Based Health Benefits: Findings From the 2011 Health Confidence Survey


CONFIDENCE IN AVAILABILITY OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED COVERAGE FALLING: Over the long-term, public confidence that employers and unions will continue to offer health coverage has fallen. In 2011, 57 percent of individuals with employment-based coverage were extremely or very confident that their employer or union would continue to offer health coverage, down from 68 percent in 2000. Most of the erosion in confidence occurred between 2000 and 2002.


FAMILIARITY WITH INSURANCE EXCHANGES LACKING: The vast majority of the population, 62 percent, reported that they were not at all familiar with health insurance exchanges, a key provision in the health reform law of 2010 (PPACA). However, the public does have opinions about the oversight of them: A majority of the population is not confident in the ability of the federal or state governments to run the exchanges, and 42 percent are not confident in private insurers’ ability to run them.


How Do Financial Literacy and Financial Behavior Vary by State?


ROLE OF STATES: This study uses relatively new data to show the difference in financial literacy and financial behavior across states. After controlling for the effect of individual demographic characteristics, most bottom-ranked states have a statistically significant effect on their residents’ financial literacy and almost all states have a statistically significant effect on their residents’ financial behavior. This suggests that there might be something going on at the state level whereby individual financial literacy and financial behavior are being shaped not only by individual demographic characteristics but also by the state in which people live.


TOP-RANKED STATES: New Hampshire and Alaska top the financial literacy and the financial behavior rankings, respectively. Minnesota, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Wisconsin, Utah, and Maryland also appear in the top 15 of both rankings.


BOTTOM-RANKED STATES: Louisiana and West Virginia are at the bottom of the financial literacy and the financial behavior rankings, respectively. Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, and Indiana also appear in the bottom 15 of both rankings.