1. 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 reform.
2. What will happen to the data collected in this Study?
All of the responses are confidential. All the data collected will be combined into one large database. Health care researchers and statisticians will prepare tables and reports for publication, and will do special analysis at the request of health care policy makers. By law, no information that identifies your establishment can be published or released to anyone outside of the study
3. Doesn't the government already have this information? I keep reading about survey data on health insurance benefits.
Several studies on health benefits offered by employers have been conducted by the insurance industry, private firms, foundations, and other government agencies. The Health Insurance Cost Study is by far the most comprehensive of these studies. It will provide detailed information about the types of health insurance offered, the number of persons covered, and the costs of health coverage at the State and National level.
4. How was our company chosen? Who is asked to participate?
This is a National Study of business establishments. Your establishment was statistically selected from a register of employers that the Census Bureau maintains. Since this is a sample survey, your establishment represents many other similar establishments. Establishments of all sizes and business activities are being asked to participate in our study.
5. We have no health insurance. Why talk to us?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is also interested in characteristics of companies that do not provide health coverage. Further research may result in changes to the structure of the availability of insurance so that more businesses will be able to provide insurance to their workers.
6. Why don't you call some other business?
In statistical studies like this one, we must interview a representative sample of establishments and government units. Your establishment was chosen to represent many other similar organizations. For statistical reasons, we cannot replace businesses or governments that decline to participate in the study. The information your organization provides is extremely important.
7. What's in this for my business? Responding to your survey isn't going to help my business.
This study gives you an opportunity to let policy makers know about your health insurance situation and to provide objective data. Accurate information about the costs and characteristics of health plans is essential for making sensible decisions.
8. Is this mandatory? Our company policy is that we don't respond to surveys unless they are required by law.
This very important study is voluntary and there are no penalties for not answering questions. However, it is very important that we have your cooperation to ensure the quality and accuracy of our data. This study will measure State and National levels of health insurance spending and will provide information for lawmakers to assess the effects of current and proposed health care reform.
9. Will my answers be kept confidential?
The Census Bureau is required by Title 13 of the United States Code to maintain the confidentiality of the data. Identifying information about your company will be seen only by individuals sworn to uphold Census Bureau confidentiality. Title 13, United States Code, authorizes a penalty for Census Bureau employees who violate the Privacy Act.
10. Is this survey authorized by law?
Collection of this information is authorized under Title 13, Section 8(b) of the United States Code and Section 913 of the Public Health Service Act.
11. Who is the survey sponsor? Where can I get information about AHRQ? Where can I get a copy of the results from this survey?
The Agency for HealthCare Research and Quality, is the sponsor of this study. It is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. If you want to write the AHRQ for additional information about the Study, the address is:
12. What does the OMB approval number mean?
The Office of Management and Budget approval number authorizes the collection of data. OMB reviews all studies that the Federal government conducts to control duplication of data collection among Federal agencies.
13. Is this an annual survey?
Yes, this is an annual study. We select a new sample of establishments every year. Therefore, it is very unlikely that your establishment will be contacted again next year.
14. What value or benefit will a small business get from participating in this study?
Information from this study will provide data describing the problems small businesses are facing regarding health insurance and what they are doing to respond to these challenges. This study will also provide information on average premiums and employer contributions for small establishments by industry group, ownership type, age of business, etc.