Health Coverage Costs Cause Employees to Decline Benefits

May 5, 2006 ( - A new study from the CoverTheUninsured campaign found that more employees are not picking employer-sponsored health insurance due to costs.

The Associated Press reports that the study, funded by the Robert Wood Foundation, showed that the number of eligible employees who enrolled in their companies’ health plan dropped from 85.3% in 1998 to 80.3% in 2003. In the same time, premiums for individuals increased from about $2,400 to $3,400.

While employers continued to pay about 83% of the cost of the insurance, employees found it increasingly harder to pay their portion, the study report says, according to the AP. An analysis by the Urban Institute of a survey from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than half of respondents cited costs as the reason they were uninsured.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota provided a state-by-state breakdown of private-sector worker health coverage over the years in the report.

In addition, the report noted that adults aged 19-34 are more likely to be uninsured than older adults and Hispanics are more likely to be uninsured than others.

The report is here .