Healthcare More Important to Americans Than Salary

New Survey Data from Lively, Inc. Reveals a Tension Between Financial and Physical Health for American Families

Healthcare More Important to Americans Than Salary (Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Lively, Inc., creators of the modern Health Savings Account (HSA), today unveiled the results of its inaugural Wellness & Wealth survey. The study, conducted by CITE Research on behalf of Lively, surveyed Americans on how their finances impact their healthcare decisions. The results provide a greater understanding of how American healthcare and financial health correlate and give powerful insight to employers about employee benefit preferences.

As medical costs rise, individuals and families across America are making financial decisions that directly impact their physical health: from choosing a health insurance plan, to postponing a doctor’s visit, to foregoing a recommended medical treatment. These costs are projected to rise over the next decade, with national health spending growing “at an average rate of 5.5 percent per year from 2018-2027 and to reach nearly $6.0 trillion by 2027,” according to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The results of this study capture how Americans make crucial healthcare decisions based on their personal finances and their ability to pay for health-related expenses, such as insurance coverage and doctor visits.

Key findings of the Wellness & Wealth: Insights for Employers Report show:

Healthcare coverage is by far the most important employee benefit when it comes to choosing or staying with an employer.

  • Out of 11 popular employee benefits, including competitive salary and 401(k), almost 40 percent of employees chose healthcare as the most important benefit when thinking of switching jobs or staying at a job.
  • The majority of Americans (76 percent) rank healthcare in their top three priorities when considering workplace benefits.

Only half of adults go to the doctor regularly or preventatively.

  • As US adults get older they are more likely to go to a doctor regularly or preventatively – and conversely, younger adults are more likely to only go to a doctor when something catastrophic happens.
  • Men, married people, and wealthier consumers are more likely to see a doctor preventatively, while people with children are more likely to only go to the doctor when they are sick.

“The results of the report show that, despite a strong economy, Americans are not able to make the best healthcare choices for themselves due to their financial situations,” says Shobin Uralil, co-founder and COO of Lively. “The fact that nearly half of Americans forego preventative care due to cost proves that something is lacking in our healthcare system, and employers should take note. As the number one priority for employees when considering jobs, healthcare benefits should be top of mind in every workplace.”

Additional findings from the Wellness & Wealth Report include:

Medical and healthcare costs come as a surprise to a large portion of employees.

  • Three in four Americans are surprised by how high their medical bills are when they receive them.
  • One in three employees are unsure how much of their paycheck goes to healthcare costs (including health insurance and out-of-pocket costs).

Employees have a mixed understanding of their employer benefits, and understanding decreases with younger generations.

  • While close to a third of people surveyed do not have health benefits through an employer, the majority of those who do say they understand their benefits.
  • Although employees report the best understanding of 401(k)s as a benefit, less than 50 percent completely understand them.
  • Less than 1 in 3 Americans completely understand any of the following healthcare terms:
    • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
    • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
    • Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
    • Health Savings Account (HSA)
    • High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
    • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

For additional findings from the Wellness & Wealth Report and actionable advice for employers to take as a result, please visit

Complete findings of the survey are available upon request.


A survey of 1,000 randomly selected U.S. Adults (ages 18 and older) was conducted from June 5-6, 2019 to gauge physical and financial health decisions across the U.S. Respondents were asked ten questions about their personal finances and knowledge as they pertain to healthcare, health practices, ability to pay for health-related expenses, and insurance coverage. The survey was commissioned by Lively and executed by CITE Research, and is part one of a series of findings about employee wellness and wealth. Part two of the results will be released later this year.

About Lively, Inc.

Lively is a modern Health Savings Account (HSA) platform for employers and individuals. Lively’s user-centric solution creates an intuitive user experience allowing consumers to get the most out of their HSA. Lively HSAs work alongside HSA compatible plans to make healthcare easier for everyone. Lively was started to help consumers optimize their healthcare spending, maximize their savings, and better their livelihood. Lively is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more information please visit or follow us on Twitter (@LivelyHSA). If you need help getting started, review our detailed and comprehensive HSA Guide.


Jennifer Parson



Jennifer Parson