More evidence that employer-sponsored insurance is going strong


Rather than accelerating the decline of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, the Affordable Care Act may have helped stopped or even reversed the trend, according a survey from the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center.

The rate of employer-sponsored insurance coverage for workers 18 to 64, including self-employed persons, fell 11 percent, from 76.9 percent to 69.4 percent, between 2000 and 2012, according to the survey brief. The rate fell even more steeply--17 percent--for workers in companies with fewer than 50 employees. Coverage rates had fallen during the recession and even more steeply immediately afterward.

But several private and government surveys have found that the rate of employer-sponsored coverage has remained stable or increased since the end of 2013, when people were able to sign up for health insurance through state- and federal-run health insurance exchanges, according to the Urban Institute.

The analysis largely confirms these findings, noting that for workers overall, coverage rates remained largely unchanged at 71 percent in 2013 versus 72 percent in 2016.

The analysis also looks more closely at groups of workers who would have been most likely to be affected by an ACA erosion of employer-sponsored coverage. It found that the employer-sponsored coverage offer rate actually increased among workers with the lowest level of education, and offer and coverage rates rose significantly among Hispanic workers. 

Coverage rates increased slightly for workers at companies both large and small, and among individuals with a family income at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level, and above 250 percent of FPL.

“Although it is too soon to know the long-term course of [employer-sponsored insurance], we are now over two years into the implementation of the ACA’s major insurance coverage expansions. Accordingly, if such a drop off in employer coverage were to occur, we should begin to see it,” the authors wrote.

- here’s the survey