Small Employers Cutting Health Care Coverage

Small employers have been cutting health care benefits for employees since the passing of the Affordable Care Act, according to research by the Employment Benefit Research Institute.

In the wake of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, small employers have been slashing health care benefits for workers, according to new research published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

While findings indicate benefit offering levels at small employers have been dropping since 2009, the study also found large employers are holding steady when it comes to offering employees health benefits.

According to EBRI data, the offer rate for employees with 10 or fewer employees dipped from 35.6% in 2008 to 22.7% in 2015. The rate for employees with 10 to 24 employees decreased from 66.1% in 2008 to 48.9% in 2015. At the same time, employers with 25 to 99 employees saw rates drop from 81.3% in 2008 to 73.5% in 2015.

By comparison, EBRI finds that the offer rate for large employers with 1,000 or more employees has remained relatively steady at 99%. The rates for employers with 100 to 999 employees stayed in the 95.1% to 92.5% range. 

EBRI concludes the numbers should inspire “better understanding of how health insurance offer rates have been affected by the ACA, the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, and the subsequent economic recovery.” The data was compiled from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance Component (MEPS-IC). 

These findings and additional research are reported in the July EBRI Notes publication, online at