Health Insurance Top Benefit for Employees Credit: Healthcare image via Shutterstock

When it comes to how they approach their careers, Americans say money can’t buy their love. However, health insurance can. In a new survey, 77 percent of workers say health insurance is the benefit that they most desire in a job.

Overall, 95 percent of Americans take health insurance benefits into consideration when deciding whether to stay at a job or take a new one, according to the research conducted by Ask.com.

Workers desire health insurance so much that 60 percent say they would rather spend a night in jail than lose their health coverage.

Asked what they want from their employers, 69 percent of workers also cited retirement benefits and 401(k) matching contributions. Life insurance, stock options and tuition assistance were other benefits that employees named.

Work-life balance is another important benefit for workers, the researchers found. More than one-third of workers said unlimited paid time off and telecommuting flexibility were offers that would sway them toward a job.

Many workers sounded excited about nontraditional benefits as well. Such benefits include a nap room, free dry cleaning and a personal shopper. Other, more lavish benefits that workers say would sway their decision to stick with a job or take a new one include masseuses, a clothing allowance and on-site gyms and child care centers.

"Silicon Valley companies are known for offering unusual perks like onsite haircuts and laundry service, which are nice-to-haves," said Lisa Ross, vice president of human resources at Ask.com. "But at the end of the day, what American workers value most are employers committed to their health and well-being and those who are actively invested in their overall quality of life."

The research was based on the responses of 2,094 adults polled by Harris Interactive. Ask.com is incorporating the results in its "2012 State of the Workplace: Benefits and Perks" report. 

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