Americans Will Pay Health Insurance For Others

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Over two-thirds (or 68%) of Americans don't mind paying a small surcharge to help restaurants or retailers cover the fee of paying health insurance for its employees, according to research from Bankrate.com.

Millennials are the most supportive generation of businesses adding a nominal surcharge to each bill in order to help pay for employees' health insurance with 64% who agree with paying an extra 25 cents on their bill at a restaurant or store, the survey found. Millennials are also the group who are most likely to hold a job at a retailer or restaurant and lack health insurance. Only 39% of Americans ages 65 and older found this surcharge to be agreeable.

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"A few well-known local and national business leaders have floated the idea of adding a small surcharge to each bill in order to compensate for increasing health insurance costs," said Bankrate.com insurance analyst Doug Whiteman. "While most Americans may be able to swallow an extra 25 cents on their bill at their favorite restaurant, a sizable chunk or 22% said they would stop going to the business. I can only imagine this number increasing if businesses try to charge too much."

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One central Florida restaurant chain has already implemented a surcharge of 1% on its bills or 15 cents for a $15 lunch, he said.

"For most consumers, this is not a big deal at all," Whiteman said. "Most people in our survey indicated they would shrug it off and would pay the 25 cents."

While 22% said they would stop frequenting a business who would implement the surcharge, it is not known if those consumers would really follow up on their threat to boycott the business, he said.