Employment-Based Health Benefits: Trends in Access and Coverage, 1997-2010

April 30, 2012

Since 2002 the percentage of workers with health coverage has been declining, mostly because fewer workers have access to coverage, says the Employment Benefit Research Institute.

  • Both the offer rate (the percentage of workers offered a health benefit) and the coverage rate for employment-based health benefits declined between 1997 and 2010.
  • Between 1997 and 2010, the percentage of workers offered health benefits from their employers decreased from 70.1 percent to 67.5 percent, and the percentage of workers covered by those plans decreased from 60.3 percent to 56.5 percent.
  • The take-up rate (the percentage of workers taking coverage when offered by their employers) declined from 86 percent in 1997 to 83.6 percent in 2010.

Cost has become an increasing factor in why workers decline coverage when offered.

  • Between 1997 and 2010, the percentage of workers who declined coverage because of cost increased from 23.2 percent to 29.1 percent.
  • In 2010, two-thirds reported that they declined coverage because they had other coverage, down from 78.9 percent in 1997.

In addition:

  • In 2010, one-half of workers whose employers did not offer health benefits were uninsured, up from 44.1 percent in 1997.
  • Among workers who were not eligible for their employers' health plans, 38.7 percent were uninsured in 2010, and 41.1 percent had employment-based health benefits as dependents.

Eligible workers with access to health benefits through their own jobs were less likely to be uninsured and more likely to be covered by employment-based health benefits as dependents.  Specifically, 24.8 percent were uninsured in 2010, whereas 62.8 percent had employment-based health benefits as dependents.

Source: "Employment-Based Health Benefits: Trends in Access and Coverage, 1997-2010," Employee Benefit Research Institute, April 2012.

For text:

http://www.ebri.org/publications/ib/index.cfm?fa=ibDisp&content_id=5042

 

Browse more articles on Health Issues