Earlier this year, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)–a organization that conducts and publishes data and research regarding employee benefits–released 14 pages of new information in its Volume 39, No. 1 publication, but the biggest takeaway was in the EBRI’s headline: “Workers Rank healthcare as the Most Critical Issue in the United States.

The report was based on a survey that was conducted last June using an online consumer research panel. The scientific poll surveyed more than 1,500 people between the ages of 21 and 64.

Here are some of the highlights of that report’s findings, along with some reactions (you can check them out for yourself here):

Healthcare is the most critical issue facing America, according to 31 percent of workers. This may not seem like a huge number, but when up against things like terrorism, the economy, the environment, geopolitical destabilization and job creation, it’s a sizable chunk. And it makes sense, as costs continue to rise in most sectors.

Health insurance is key in picking a job. The survey revealed that 60 percent of workers say health insurance is “extremely important” when considering whether to stay in or choose a new job. Compare that to just 42 percent who report retirement savings as being extremely important.

Workers think healthcare isn’t in great shape, and that it’s only going to get worse. Most workers–55 percent in this study–describe the healthcare system as “poor” (25 percent) or “fair” (30 percent). Confidence isn’t high when asked if people are confident about getting the treatments they need or being able to afford healthcare without financial hardship, but those numbers drop when asked to predict their confidence 10 years from now. There are a number of factors for this, obviously, but it comes down to a system of unchecked expenses, overtaxed medical staff and underserved patients. This is why Captiva Benefit Solutions exists–cutting through that clutter to get real results. It’s in great shape for the companies with whom we partner!

Workers aren’t happy about cost. A whopping 78 percent of workers would not say they’re overly satisfied with the cost of their health plans. Only 18 percent of workers are pleased with the price of services not covered by their insurance plans. And about half of workers report experiencing healthcare cost increases in the past year! It doesn’t have to be this way!

Quality? Sure. Reflecting on the past two years, about half of workers say they’re “extremely” or “very satisfied” with the quality of medical care they’ve received. Our question is, “But can’t it be better, especially for what you’re paying?” The answer is yes, yes it can.

Healthcare costs affect retirement, food, and overall financial well-being. Medical cost increases led some workers (26 percent of those reporting increases over the last year) to decrease their contributions to retirement plans, and others (43 percent) to stop putting as much money away in savings. These workers also report difficulties with basic necessities (more than 25 percent), spending savings or amassing debt (36 percent), and delaying retirement (27 percent), among other difficult situations.

The EBRI has been the trusted source of private analysts, decision makers, government policymakers, the media and the public for the past 40 years as a unbiased “just the facts” type of organization. They’re not trying to advocate for or attack the healthcare industry. They’re just trying to capture a snapshot of what’s happening.

It doesn’t take a survey like this to reveal there are problems with the out of control costs of healthcare in this country, but having hard data like this reveals how these problems don’t just affect the pocketbooks of your workers–although that affect is pretty extensive, as detailed here–it also affects your team. If healthcare plans cause workers to leave or stay satisfied in a job, getting this right becomes all the more important.

There are tools available now to make healthcare start working for you and your employees again, rather than draining everyone of hard-earned money and peace of mind. Captiva Benefit Solutions hacks the system using the Health Rosetta to lower costs, give better overall care and bring confidence, loyalty and financial wellbeing back into the picture.

Don’t let these stats reflect your workforce. Contact Captiva for a consultation today.