Cost Cited as Reason for Not Having Health Coverage

August 26, 2013 ( – Most uninsured employees cite cost as the main reason for not having health insurance coverage, said research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

The percentage of uninsured employees reporting cost as a reason for not having coverage has been at or near 90% since late 2009. According to the EBRI, these employees were referring to either the cost of employment-based coverage or coverage that could be purchased directly from an insurer. Between 1995 and 1997, uninsured employees citing cost as a reason for that status increased from 73% to 84%, then settled into the low-80% range through 1999.

EBRI’s analysis found that there is a strong link between health benefits and employment, with employment-based health benefits remaining the most common form of coverage for “the nonpoor and nonelderly individuals in the United States.” In 2011, 58.4% of nonelderly individuals (under age 65) were covered by an employer-based health benefits plan. This included 68.3% of workers, 34.7% of nonworking adults and 54.7% of children.

More information on this topic can be found in the July 2013 issue of EBRI Notes, which can be found here.