What is the purpose of this study?
The study’s purpose is to measure state and national levels
of health insurance spending as well as to provide data for analyzing the
effects of current and proposed health care reforms. We collect information
on the availability of health insurance for workers and the cost of that
insurance to both the employee and the organization providing the insurance. ^top
Private and public sector employers in all 50 states and the District
of Columbia participate in the Health Insurance Cost Study. Business
establishments of all sizes and business activities are chosen to represent
the country, their state, and other businesses with similar characteristics.
For example, small businesses in the survey represent thousands of
other small businesses across the country. ^top
How was I selected?
Your business was chosen as part of a scientifically selected sample
of businesses. Taking a representative sample is much less costly than
attempting to contact every business in the country. ^top
Why is it so important for me to participate?
Your business has been selected to represent other businesses like
yours across the country. We cannot replace you if you do not participate,
and businesses like yours may not be adequately represented in the study.
By participating in the Health Insurance Cost Study, you are performing
a valuable public service to help policymakers better understand the
issues facing America's employer-based health insurance system. ^top
Is my information going to be confidential?
Yes, the information you provide is only used for research and cannot
be used for any other purpose. Survey results are reported in summary
fashion and are combined with the information from other businesses participating
in the survey. The study is conducted under the authority of Title 13,
United States Code (U.S.C.), and Section 8(b) and Section 913 of the
Public Health Service Act (Title 42, U.S.C., Section 299b-2). The confidentiality
of your reported information is protected by federal law [Section 9 of
the Title 13, U.S.C (the Census Bureau statute)]. ^top
I have a very small business. Why do you want information from me?
Your business was chosen from a scientifically selected sample of businesses
and represents many other small businesses like yours. Small businesses
are different from large businesses regarding health insurance offerings,
premium costs, and cost-sharing arrangements with employees. It is critical
for us to measure the availability and cost of health insurance coverage
for all employers, not just the largest ones. Small businesses face different
problems when it comes to offering health insurance. For this reason,
it is also important for us to know more about small employers that do
not offer health insurance to their employees. ^top
What’s in this for my business?
The data produced by this survey and posted on the MEPS Web site
can help you assess your own health insurance program. Average premiums
and employee contributions are posted on the Web site by state, firm
size, industry, and other business characteristics so you can compare
your offerings and costs to those in similar businesses. Participating
in this study also gives you an opportunity to let policymakers know
about your health insurance situation and to provide objective data.
Accurate information about the costs and characteristics of health plans
is critical to the decision-making process. ^top
Can I report online?
Yes, starting with survey year 2010, all employers may choose to report online. In your questionnaire package, an Internet link and secure webkey have been provided for access to Centurion, the Census Bureauís web collection tool.
I have returned my form. Why have I received another just like it?
We send follow-up letters and forms when the deadline passes. Your
returned form and our follow-up letter and form may have crossed in the
mail. If you have returned your form and receive another one just like
it with the identical identification code in the address section, ignore
it. Some companies receive more than one form so they can report for
different lines of business or for operations in other trade areas. If
that's the case, you must complete and return the form for that different
line of business or other trade area as well. ^top
Whom do I contact if I have questions?
The phone number provided in the cover letter you received in the
mail along with the Health Insurance Cost Study is the best way to contact
us if you have any questions about completing the study. If you have
lost or misplaced that letter, please call our general toll-free number
at 1-888-206-8023. ^top