NEW YORK (MainStreet) American workers comprise a restless workforce. More than a few have thought of bolting from their jobs and starting their own business, but the reason many haven't satisfied that entrepreneurial urge boils down to one factor: health insurance. More than half (56%) of respondents to a recent survey said they had considered quitting their current jobs but didn't want to give up their employer-provided health coverage.
If they could find comparable cost and coverage health insurance, 40% said they would quit right now. Of those ready to head for the door, nearly half (43%) said they would start their own business.
According to the report, issued by Securian Financial Group, 60% of U.S. workers receive health insurance as an employee benefit. And that perk is buying some degree of loyalty: employees are staying in jobs they might otherwise quit if they could find affordable insurance elsewhere.
But wasn't Obamacare supposed to provide that affordable alternative? Earlier this year the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could result in two million workers leaving the work force between 2017 and 2024. The National Bureau of Economic Research estimated "anywhere from 500,000 to 900,000 people" might leave the labor market after Obamacare was instituted.
While perhaps there hasn't yet been a mass rush for the exits, Americans are certainly considering their options -- but health insurance is an overriding concern. Fully 43% of those surveyed said they have turned down job offers, because the prospective employer's health insurance did not meet their needs. High cost and inadequate coverage were the reasons most often given.
It seems apparent, as a primary factor in employee retention, employers are wise to provide comprehensive and affordable health insurance. And it seems employers are rising to the challenge: most of the respondents (83%) said they were "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with the health insurance benefits provided by their employer.
Apparently without that satisfaction, many would be putting in their two weeks' notice.
--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet