Recession reduces employer-sponsored health insurance

May 10, 2012

If you've been thinking that fewer of your patients are obtaining health insurance through their employers, you're right. Employer healthcare has been declining for a long time, though disproportionately more for some groups of patients.

If you've been thinking that fewer of your patients are obtaning health insurance through their employers, you're right.

The share of U.S. children and working-age adults with employer-sponsored health insurance dropped from 63.6% in 2007 to 53.5% in 2010, according to a new study from the nonpartisan Center for Studying Health System Change. Job loss was the biggest reason for the decline, the study found.

Though accelerated by the recession, employer healthcare has been declining for a long time. "What's happened to employer-sponsored health insurance in recent years is akin to an acute illness aggravating a chronic condition," says Chapin White, PhD, the study's co-author. "The acute illness-the sluggish economy and weak employment situation-likely will resolve at some point, but the underlying chronic condition-rising healthcare costs-likely will persist."