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Principal Investigator(s): William M. Mercer, Inc.
This study examined employee health plan sponsorship among California businesses that employed between 2 and 50 individuals to determine why some employers offer health insurance plans and some do not. Businesses were divided into two groups: employers that offered health insurance and those that did not offer health insurance. Separate questionnaires were used for the two groups, but many questions in the two surveys were identical so that the two groups of businesses could be compared. Respondents were asked whether health care coverage was available to full-time and/or part-time employees and retirees, and whether domestic partners (same-sex and/or opposite-sex) were eligible as dependents. Employers who offered health care coverage to their employees listed the types of medical plans that they offered, in both 1999 and 2000, and the number of employees enrolled in the plans. The plan types were traditional indemnity, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Point-of-Service (POS), and Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Employers also described employee and employer contributions toward health care premiums, the kinds of freestanding plans (e.g., vision, dental, substance abuse / mental health) they offered, and whether they expected health benefit costs to increase or decrease. Respondents also rated the likelihood of their organization reducing benefits and raising employee contributions. Employers that did not offer their employees health care coverage were asked if they had ever offered coverage, whether they had seriously considered starting to offer health insurance to their employees, whether they had gotten a quote for health insurance, and how likely it was that they would offer health insurance in the next two years. Employers that did not currently offer health insurance were also asked to estimate the cost to their company of health insurance, how much they would be willing to pay for employee health insurance, and whether they would need to reduce wages or benefits to pay for the insurance. All employers were asked whether they had applied for insurance and been turned down, the number of years they had been in business, and whether the Internet had been used as a source of information about health insurance. Respondents described other benefits they offered their employees and answered a number of factual questions about health insurance, such as whether employer contributions to health insurance premiums for employees were tax-deductible. Respondents also gave their opinions on a number of other items, such as whether an HMO could meet the needs of their organization. Employers were asked whether they were familiar with various means of purchasing and providing health insurance, such as Section 125 plans or purchasing alliances, and, if they provided health insurance, which method they had used. General characteristics of each business were recorded, including number of employees, type of business, the proportion of full-time, part-time, and seasonal/temporary employees, how many employees had been hired and how many had left in the previous 12 months, number of employees at different salary levels, whether the owner of the organization was a woman, and the proportion of employees that were female or members of ethnic minority groups.
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. Authentication is required to apply for access.
To protect respondent privacy, ZIP codes and detailed industry classifications of responding establishments are restricted from general dissemination. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR Restricted Data Contract Portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.
William M. Mercer, Inc. California Healthcare Foundation/Mercer Small Business Health Insurance Survey, 2000 . ICPSR03383-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03383.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03383.v1
This study was funded by:
- California HealthCare Foundation (99-4014)
Scope of Study
Date of Collection:
Universe: California employers with 2-50 employees.
Data Types: survey data
Sample: A random sample was drawn from a database of private employers, stratified by employer size (3-9 employees, 10-24 employees, and 25-49 employees), single-site versus multiple-site employers, and location (Los Angeles versus the rest of California). In the case of multi-site establishments, only the parent company was sampled. Employers with either 2 or 50 employees -- one less and one more than the targeted size -- were also eligible.
Original ICPSR Release: 2002-04-04
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