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

Source: Paul Fronstin, Employee Benefit Research Institute, EBRI Issue Brief no. 370, April 2012

From the press release:
Most Americans get their health coverage through their jobs, but new research from EBRI shows that fewer workers have access to this benefit.

The EBRI report notes that the percentage of the population with employment-based health benefits is lower, most recently due to the 2007-2009 recession, but also as part of a longer term trend that has seen fewer workers with access to health coverage.

Among the key reasons, according to the EBRI report:
• Fewer employers are offering health coverage to their workers. Between 1997 and 2010, the percentage of workers offered health benefits from their employers moved from 70.1 percent to 67.5 percent.
• A growing percentage of workers are part-time and typically do not qualify for their employers’ health benefits. Two-thirds of workers not eligible for their employers’ health plans reported that they worked part time in 2010, up from one-half in 1997.
• When health coverage is offered, workers increasingly are turning it down because they say it’s too expensive. Between 1997 and 2010, the percentage of workers who declined coverage because of cost increased from 23.2 percent to 29.1 percent. By contrast, fewer workers are declining coverage because they get it from somewhere else.
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Executive summary

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