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Spend any amount of time working in and around the insurance brokerage world, and one message comes through loud and clear: our HR leader-clients have a tough job. No other company benefit comes under more scrutiny both from the C-Suite and the rank and file of employees, spouses, partners and dependents, than health coverage. Skyrocketing costs make even a mid-single digit annual increase worthy of celebration, while baffling and opaque billing practices are considered normal. And there is nothing like a snafu in plan administration to set off emotional complaints to HR about something as important as health care.

Given these and myriad other challenges, it is not all that surprising that some “conventional wisdom” has permeated the upper tiers of HR leadership that can be politely described as unhelpful. One thing we hear time and again is that employees will never sacrifice any type of unfettered access to all health care and a phone book size directory to achieve significant cost savings. I have long said that this common belief is actually a myth, and an especially damaging one in that it can really derail disruption and innovation when it comes to addressing health care affordability for the average U.S. worker.

I am happy to report that the recent Centivo Healthcare and Financial Sacrifices Survey, 2021 has put some hard numbers around busting this myth wide open. Here is what survey respondents said, all of whom have had employer-sponsored health insurance for at least the past two years:

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