Some things to know from the AP-NORC Center employer poll on health insurance benefits

Industries Associated Press

Employers consider employee health insurance a priority. This is despite years of rising medical costs and pressure from the federal health care overhaul.

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But new surveys suggest coverage may grow skimpier in the coming years.

A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that companies that offer health insurance see it as a key tool to attract workers and keep them on the job. But they're also sweating the expense, with 86 percent citing the cost of coverage as a main factor in picking a plan.

The poll found that 8 in 10 companies that offer insurance said they do so mainly because it's the right thing to do, while about 6 in 10 say it helps recruit and keep workers.