Study: The decline in employer-sponsored health coverage continues

Young adults see increase in work-sponsored coverage

Topics: Benefits, Labor Expense, Workforce, Compensation

April 12, 2013

A new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) finds that higher premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance have led to a decline in the number of U.S. residents with work-based coverage.

According to the study, 159 million people had such coverage in 2011, down by 11.5 million from 2000. Average premiums for employer-based coverage increased from $2,490 in 2000 to $5,081 in 2011. Employee contributions also increased during that period from $435 to $1,056.

All but three states reported a statistically relevant decline in employer-based coverage during the period, with rates falling by at least 10 percentage points in 22 states. The largest decline was in Michigan where the employer-based coverage rate dropped by 15.2% from 2000 to 2011, while the smallest rate of decline—less than 1%--was in North Dakota.

The only demographic to experience an increase in employer-sponsored coverage were young adults ages 19 to 25, which the study attributed to the Affordable Care Act provision allowing dependents under age 26 to remain on their parents' insurance policy (Block, Modern Healthcare, 4/11 [subscription required].

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