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Employee health benefits: trends in access and coverage, 1997-2010

An Employee Benefits Research Institute report looks at trends in employment-based health benefits since 1997. These are a few of the trends noted:

  • The number of workers offered health benefits by their employers declined to 67.8% in 2010, while the proportion of workers covered dropped to 56.5%.
  • In 2010, nearly half [46.7%] of wage and salary earners under age 65 reported they worked for employers that did not offer health benefits.
  • Another 15% worked for employers that provided health benefits but were not eligible for those benefits.
  • Another quarter of employees declined participation in employer health benefits offered, either because of cost or because they had other insurance coverage.
  • Half of workers whose employers did not offer health benefits were uninsured in 2010. Another third had employment-based health benefits as dependents, 8% purchased individual insurance, and nearly 12% were covered by public programs.

Employer-provided health insurance remains the most common form of insurance coverage in the U.S., but the proportion of workers covered has been decreasing over time, primarily because fewer workers have access to coverage.

Source: Fronstin P. Employment-based health benefits: trends in access and coverage, 1997-2010. EBRI Issue Brief [Employee Benefits Research Institute], no. 370, Apr. 2012. http://www.ebri.org/publications/ib/index.cfm?fa=ibDisp&content_id=5042Insurance-Coverage.pdf

Related resource: Blavin F and others. Deteriorating health insurance coverage from 2000 to 2010 by region: coverage takes biggest hit in the South and Midwest. Urban Institute, Aug. 2012. http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412638-Deteriorating-Health-Insurance-Coverage.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422.2050, rc@aha.org

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