Gallup: Employer-based coverage steadily declining

Employer-based health insurance has been declining, with fewer members in these types of commercial plans last year than in 2008. Instead, more people are either uninsured or receive health insurance through a government-based program, according to a new Gallup poll.

Although the economy has helped companies add almost 2 million jobs in 2012, only 44.5 percent of Americans had employer-based coverage that year, compared to 49 percent in 2008, reported The Hill's Healthwatch.

These results, the Gallup survey said, are primarily because of the higher unemployment rate, an increasing number of employers that don't offer health insurance benefits and insurance that is cost prohibitive for workers.

Employer-sponsored coverage has been declining steadily since 2008 among all major subgroups, including income, race, gender and age. People with high incomes, earning more than $90,000 a year, are the most likely to have employer-based insurance (69 percent), while low-income Americans are among the least likely to have this type of health plan (22 percent), Gallup found.

But despite the decline in employer-based coverage among full-time employees, more part-time workers have been getting their health insurance through employers. This trend could be caused by the reform law's provision extending coverage to young adults through their parents' health plans.

Meanwhile, the number of people with government-based coverage, including Medicare, Medicaid or military benefits, increased from 23 percent in 2008 to almost 26 percent in 2012, Reuters reported.

To learn more:
- here's the Gallup survey
- read The Hill's Healthwatch article
- see the Reuters article

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