Employment-Based Health Coverage Continues to Decline
September 26, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – According to a report
from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), employment-based health
coverage has been declining since 1994.
employment-based health coverage is still the dominant source of health
insurance in the U.S., it has been steadily shrinking for 18 years.
report, “Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured:
Analysis of the March 2011 Current Population Survey,” found that in 2010, 58.7% of the non-elderly
population (under age 65) had employment-based health benefits, down from 69.3%
public program health coverage expanded last year, accounting for 21.6% of the
non-elderly population. Enrollment in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health
Insurance Program increased, covering 16.9% of the non-elderly population in
2010 and significantly higher than the 10.2% level of 1999.
EBRI report notes that while the percentage of non-elderly Americans with
health insurance declined slightly in from 2009 to 81.5% in 2010, the change
was not statistically significant. The percentage of nonelderly individuals who
were uninsured was 18.5% in 2010, up from 18.3% in 2009, its highest level
during the 1994‒2010 period.
estimates on the uninsured are somewhat higher than those reported by CPS: EBRI
focuses on the non-elderly population because this group can receive health
insurance coverage from a number of different sources, and because Medicare
(the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled) covers
nearly all individuals age 65 and older.
trends clearly reflect job losses from the 2007–2009 recession and continuing
slow economic recovery. While the unemployment rate this year has been about
9%—slightly lower than in 2010—it remains high, and there is a continued threat
of a double-dip recession increasing it even further,” said Paul Fronstin,
Director of the EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program, and author of the
report. “As a result, the nation is likely to see continued erosion of
employment-based health benefits when the data for 2011 are released in 2012.
Fewer working individuals translates into fewer individuals with access to
health benefits in the work place.”
details of the EBRI report are published in the September 2011 EBRI Issue Brief, availableonline at www.ebri.org. Tara Cantoreeditors@plansponsor.com
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