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

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

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

Continue Reading Below

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.