NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Employer-Provided Health Insurance and the Recession

May 5, 2011

While there has been a slow erosion in the percentage of individuals under age 65 with employment-based health coverage since 2000, 2009 was the first year in which the percentage fell below 60 percent.  It also marked the largest one-year decline in coverage, says the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

  • The percentage of workers with coverage through their own job fell from 53.2 percent in 2008 to 52 percent in 2009, a 2.4 percent decline in the likelihood that a worker has coverage through his or her own job.
  • The percentage of workers with coverage as a dependent fell from 17 percent in 2008 to 16.3 percent in 2009, a 4.5 percent drop in the likelihood that a worker has coverage as a dependent.
  • These declines occurred as the unemployment rate increased from an average of 5.8 percent in 2008 to 9.3 percent in 2009 (and reached a high of 10.1 percent during 2009).
  • The decline in the percentage of workers with coverage from their own job affected workers in private-sector firms of all sizes.
  • Among public-sector workers, the decline from 73.4 percent to 73 percent was not statistically significant.
  • Workers in all private-sector industries experienced a statistically significant decline in coverage between 2008 and 2009.

Source: Paul Fronstin, "The Impact Of The 2007-2009 Recession On Workers' Health Coverage," Employee Benefit Research Institute, April 2011.

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