When it comes to health insurance, employees want to take charge of their own coverage, and employers want them to.
New surveys released last week say nearly three of four employees liked the idea of getting financial help from their employers to buy coverage instead of just accepting the plans their companies offered.
Nearly half of the employers surveyed liked this idea of a defined contribution healthcare plan, too.
The surveys, sponsored by KPMG, a leading international accounting and consulting firm with U.S. headquarters in New York, polled 14,626 employees and 103 senior executives at Fortune 1,000 companies during the fall.
KPMG developed the surveys in conjunction with Regina Herzlinger, a professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School in Boston.
While the vast majority of employees wanted control over selecting their own health plans, others-about 23% of employees-simply weren't interested.
Those employees said they trusted their employers to make the best decision about their healthcare and they worried about not having their employer's help in filing claims or complaints. The employees also were concerned that a program allowing them more control could cost them more money.
Judy Waxman, director of government affairs for Families USA, a healthcare consumer group, said employees should be wary of the pitfalls of shopping for their own coverage with an employer's money.
"You don't know that the amount of money is going to be able to buy you and your family a comprehensive healthcare package," Waxman said.
But Herzlinger said a defined contribution plan wouldn't penalize employees.
"It is important to clarify that defined contribution healthcare is not a take-away," she said.