CMS Report Says 1.4M Fewer Americans to be in Employer Health Plans

April 23, 2010 ( – A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report on the new health care reform law released Friday by a U.S. House Republican member, estimated that 1.4 million fewer Americans will be enrolled in employer coverage as a result.

Made public by U.S. Representative John Kline (R-Minnesota), the report also asserted that seven million seniors would no longer be covered by Medicare Advantage and that the nation’s health care spending would increase by $331 billion over the next 10 years. Regarding the number of people to be covered by different insurance types, the CMS estimated that as of 2019, 164.5 million would have employer coverage under the new law, compared to 165.9 if the reform law had not been passed.

On the other hand, about 14 million people may lose employer-provided coverage due to a variety of reasons, including more low-wage workers moving to an expanded Medicaid program and some employers, especially smaller companies and those with low average salaries, being “inclined to terminate” coverage, the report said.

The report also says that 23.1 million people will be uninsured in 2019 compared with 56.9 million had the legislation not passed.

The CMS concedes, however, that because the health reform measure will make substantial changes in the way Americans receive health care in coming years, any estimates come with an unusually high degree of uncertainty.

The report is available here