Workplace Health Coverage Trend Declining

October 7, 2010 ( – Forty-five percent of employees recently surveyed said they have health coverage from their employer, down from 50% in January 2008.

A news release about the Gallup and Healthways survey said the year-to-date average for employer-based coverage is 46% and trending down compared with 2009 and 2008. The dropoff in employer-based coverage began in the fall of 2008 with the economic downturn and corresponding large-scale layoffs.

Trend lines for Americans getting health coverage at work may be headed down, but the news release said the opposite is true for those getting government coverage – Medicare, Medicaid, or military/veterans’ benefits. The survey found more respondents were getting government health coverage in September (26.3%) than in any other month since January 2008 (22.5%) when the firms began tracking it. The year-to-date average for those getting government coverage is 25.2% and heading up.

Finally, the percentage of Americans without health insurance was 16.1% last month, about on par with the 16.6% in August, but still higher than the 14.8% in January 2008.

The news release said health care reform has yet to significantly change the health coverage patterns among those polled.

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted September 1-30, 2010, with a random sample of 30,248 adults, age 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. More information is at