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Coins balanced on beam Employees, who reflect a diverse set of economic priorities and various preferences, would choose for themselves between pretax dollars for health insurance and after-tax take-home pay. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The $962 billion that large corporations spend annually for employee health insurance could hold the key to expanding access to quality, affordable care, according to a Health Affairs blog.

“Because they offer their employees only a modest number of insurance options, their dollars are not impacting the market — to control costs, improve quality and enable access — as they should,” the writers of the blog said. “If employers instead gave their employees pretax employer-sponsored insurance cash to purchase their own Affordable Care Act-compliant insurance and save any residual as after-tax income, the market would respond vigorously to these employees’ preferences by offering more innovative, cost-effective plans, along with improved transparency and the navigational aids needed to choose them.”

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