Health Care Costs Affecting Retirement Savings and Financial Wellness

///Health Care Costs Affecting Retirement Savings and Financial Wellness

Health Care Costs Affecting Retirement Savings and Financial Wellness

Workers’ dissatisfaction with health insurance is focused primarily on cost: Just 22% are extremely or very satisfied with the cost of their health insurance plan, and only 21% are satisfied with the costs of health care services not covered by insurance, according to the EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Workplace Benefits Survey.

Approximately one-half of workers (47%) report having experienced an increase in health care costs in the past year, about the same percentage since 2015.

Of those reporting cost increases, 24% state they have decreased their contributions to retirement plans, and 41% have decreased their contributions to other savings. Thirty percent have delayed retirement, and 17% have taken a loan or withdrawal from a retirement plan.

In addition, nearly one-third also report they have had difficulty paying for basic necessities such as food, heat, and housing, while 39% say they have had difficulty paying other bills. At least one-third say they have used up all or most of their savings or have increased their credit card debt; 25% report that they have borrowed money, 17% have dropped other insurance benefits and 18% have purchased additional insurance to help with expenses.

In good news, although workers are dissatisfied with the country’s health care system, they have positive things to say about their employer-sponsored health insurance. One-half of workers with health insurance coverage are extremely or very satisfied with their current health plan. Workers are generally confident that their employers or unions will continue to offer health insurance in the future. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of workers report that they are extremely or very confident.

Workers are generally satisfied with the quality of medical care received. One-half of workers (47%) say they are extremely or very satisfied with the quality of the medical care they have received in the past two years, and 35% are somewhat satisfied.

Seventy-three percent of workers report that health insurance is one of the top three most important benefits when considering whether to stay in or choose a new job, whereas only 57% report that a retirement savings plan is in the top three.

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