May 2012 EBRI Notes: Employment-based Health Coverage Rates Continue to Fall

A new report by EBRI shows that the percentage of workers with employment-based health coverage continues to shrink.

The EBRI analysis, which looks at month-by-month health coverage rates before, during, and after the recession, finds that the brief uptick in employment-based coverage immediately after the recession has not endured.

Employment-based health benefits are the most common form of health insurance for nonpoor and nonelderly individuals in the United States, covering 69 percent of workers, 35 percent of nonworking adults, and 55 percent of children.

Between December 2007, when the most recent economic recession officially started, and June 2009, when the recession technically ended, the percentage of workers with coverage in their own name fell from 60.4 percent to 56.0 percent. While that ticked up almost 1 percentage point by the end of 2009, by April 2011, the coverage rate was down to 55.8 percent.

“While the link between health insurance coverage and employment has long been known, these data underscore the degree to which unemployment rates directly affect the levels of the uninsured in the United States,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program and author of the report.

The press release is online here. The full report is online here.

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