|Targeted News Service|
In 2011, the percent of Americans under age 65 covered by employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) declined for the eleventh year in a row, finds a new
Because most Americans, particularly those under age 65, rely on health insurance offered through their jobs, the fall in employer-sponsored health insurance is expected at a time when the economy is struggling. However, the fall in ESI started long before the Great Recession. As many as 29 million more people under age 65 would have had ESI in 2011 if the coverage rate had remained at the 2000 level, 69.2 percent. And workers age 19 to 64 were nearly 30 percent more likely to be uninsured in 2011 than in 2000.
Public health insurance, primarily in the form of
Through provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as health reform) that took effect in 2010, young adults up to age 26 were able to secure health insurance coverage through their parents' health insurance policies. While this provision appears to improve the low coverage rates for 19- to 25-year-olds, coverage for young adults through this avenue is dependent on parental coverage, which has suffered in recent years due to the struggling economy. Furthermore, young adults whose parents do not have the advantage of ESI (disproportionately non-whites and/or those with less education and/or lower incomes) are not able to take advantage of this provision.
"Employer-sponsored health insurance is increasingly failing American families, causing far too many people to fall through the cracks," Gould said. "While provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have helped mitigate the trend and will help more individuals and families in the future, the labor market's insufficient job creation and workers' ever-decreasing bargaining power will likely lead to further losses in employer-sponsored insurance coverage before major relief from health reform materializes."
Below is a list of state groups offering a state-level analysis of the findings published in this report: