Survey: Majority of Parents and Millennials Highly Value Healthcare Benefits, but are Confused and Unprepared

Access to Healthcare Benefits Drives Career Choices for Over Three Quarters of Americans

January 14, 2016 — San Mateo, Calif — A recent online survey of American adults, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Collective Health, revealed health benefits would drive job choices for over three quarters of Americans. The percentage of Americans who say competitive benefits would factor into their job choice jumps to 86 percent among those currently on an employer-sponsored plan. The survey also found that even among employed Americans, the majority are unprepared for an out-of-pocket medical expense of $5000 (60 percent), and are confused by health benefit options available to them (63 percent). Parents and millennial women proved to be the most impacted. Eighty percent of millennial women (ages 18-34) and 69 percent of parents with a child under 18 in their home said they are not prepared to handle an out-of-pocket medical bill adding up to $5,000.

The poll surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults (ages 18 and up) about whether healthcare benefits factored into their decision of where to work, their overall understanding of the healthcare benefits and options available to them, and how prepared they are to shoulder out-of-pocket medical expenses.

When deciding on a new job, over three quarters of Americans (78 percent) said healthcare benefits would factor into their decision of where to work and over half of Americans (57 percent) said they would not take a job with a company that didn’t offer competitive healthcare benefits. When dependents are introduced, that percentage increases. For parents with a child under 18 in the home, four out of five of U.S. adults (81 percent), said healthcare benefits would strongly factor into their decision of where to work.

“These findings are particularly relevant at this time as 150 million Americans are once again starting a new employer-based healthcare plan,” said Rajaie Batniji, chief medical officer and co-founder, Collective Health. “While Americans increasingly demand competitive healthcare benefits in the workplace, a significant majority of them still don’t understand the options available to them, which can inadvertently expose them or their dependents to increased financial risk.”

Yet despite emphasizing the importance of workplace healthcare benefits, 61 percent of Americans are often still confused by the healthcare options available to them (e.g. PPO vs. HMO, provider, FSA/HSA). Millennials and parents with a child under 18 in the home admitted to being the most confused when it came to healthcare benefits:

  • Nearly three out of four (72 percent) 18-34 year olds said they are often confused about all the benefit options available to them.
  • For parents with a child under 18 in the home, 70 percent said they were confused versus 57 percent without a child.

While the results of the survey suggest that healthcare benefits increasingly serve as a recruiting tool, confusion around healthcare benefits, especially among millennials and parents, still prevails. As such, employers may also find themselves looking to augment competitive benefits packages with solutions that empower and educate their staff on the healthcare plans and coverage available to them.

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Two thirds of Americans (67 percent) agree that competitive healthcare benefits are more important to them than other workplace perks such as gym memberships, free food or standing desks.
  • The same lack of understanding around healthcare benefits also extends to the doctor’s office: three out of five (59 percent) of U.S. adults have been confused by a bill they’ve received from a healthcare professional.
  • Sixty-one percent of U.S. adults shared they are not prepared to handle an out-of-pocket medical bill of $5,000 or more.
  • Seventy-one percent of 18-34 year olds said they are not prepared to handle an out-of-pocket medical expense of $5,000.
  • The majority of Americans want reliable healthcare coverage and are willing to pay a premium for it: two-thirds (66 percent) of U.S. adults would prefer a plan that takes more out of their monthly paycheck but that covers more of their medical bills.


Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Collective Health from December 3-7, 2015 among 2,018 adults ages 18 and older. For complete survey results and methodology, including weighting variables, please contact, or visit


About Collective Health
Collective Health is a software and services company creating the healthcare experience we all deserve. Its team of engineers, designers and actuaries are starting by redefining the $1 trillion dollar market of employer-sponsored health insurance with data driven products. Using Collective Health’s complete health benefits solution, companies can design, administer and transform the consumer experience of health benefits by harnessing the power of design and technology. Founded in October 2013, Collective Health serves self-insured employers across the U.S. The company is based in San Mateo, CA. For more information, visit


About The Harris Poll
Over the last five decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods. Contact us for more information.

Our customers include:
eBay Red Bull Activision Blizzard
Zendesk Counsyl eBay
Red Bull Trace3 DataSafe
eBay Red Bull
Activision Blizzard
Zendesk Counsyl
Trace3 DataSafe
eBay Red Bull Activision Blizzard Zendesk Counsyl Trace3 DataSafe