I did the opposite, was working fulltime and went contingent and lost a lot of income, as well as benefits. The freedom to pick the days I work and not be obligated to every other weekend shifts is worth it, I think? I would expect your hourly rate to drop quite a bit if you change your status.
I thought I had read that full benefits often account for approximately 20-30% of your total compensation package. In fact, I think I used to get a mailer from my employer outlining exactly how much comes out of their pocket towards me, and it's substantially more than my paycheck reveals. That part of your pay just never passes through your bank account. It's a great deal for people who don't need the employer's benefits because they have them some other way for example through a spouse.