Health Insurance: Employer-Based Coverage Falls, Number of Uninsured Grows

Monday, May 10, 2010

The recent recession exacerbated the problem of Americans without health insurance, as rising unemployment forced many who were insured through their jobs to lose medical coverage. A study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows the percentage of the U.S.

population (excluding seniors) with employment-based coverage went from 61.3% in May 2007 down to 58.2% by July 2009. Concurrently, the uninsured rate rose during the same period from 12.3% to 16.4%.
The details of benefits packages also changed, Between 2005 and 2008, deductibles in large firms increased 88%, from an average of $254 to $478, while the average deductible in small firms (under 200 employees) jumped 122%, from $469 to $1,040. Co-payments for office visits and prescription drugs have also been increasing, a trend that began before the recession hit.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
The Impact of the Recession on Employment-Based Health Coverage (by Paul Fronstin, Employee Benefit Research Institute) (pdf)


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