Over the last decade, employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage in the United States has eroded substantially, say authors of a study published this month by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded entity. The authors noted that the findings highlight the importance of monitoring and evaluating the impacts of the Affordable Care Act on ESI at the state level. Although ESI coverage declined among nonelderly Americans, ESI is expected to remain as the leading way this population group obtains coverage, they concluded.
Researchers obtained state-level data for this study from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey, and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Insurance Component. The study period was from 1999/2000 to 2010/2011.
Analysis of the 2 national surveys revealed that ESI coverage among nonelderly Americans declined from 69.7% to 59.5%. This represents a 10.2 percentage point decline despite a 3.1 percentage point increase in public coverage. While most states experienced significant declines in ESI coverage, the percentage varied widely by state and income, with coverage falling less for high-income groups (400% federal poverty level or above) than for lower income groups (200% federal poverty level or below). Nationwide, private sector ESI coverage fell from 58.9% to 52.4%, and single-person premium costs doubled while family premiums increased 125%. Employee contributions also rose from 17.5% to 20.8% of the total premium.
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