Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Reaches New Low

Recent findings from a Gallup Poll revealed that the number of American adults covered by employer-sponsored health insurance has reached the lowest level since the organization began tracking coverage in 2008. The polling organization found the number of covered adults dropped more than 5 percent over the three-year period.

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Drops 44.5 Percent

Data from the Gallup Poll revealed that, as of the third quarter of 2011, 44.5 percent of adults were covered at work. This is down from 50 percent of employer-sponsored health insurance numbers at the end of 2008. The reduction speaks to the decrease in the number of employers that feel they can afford to provide workers with health insurance benefits.

A separate study released by the Commonwealth Fund found that a jump in health care costs impacted insurance rates employers pay. Between 2003 and 2010, insurance premiums rose by 50 percent on average.

Unable to manage the financial burden on their own, many have shifted much of the cost to their workers. According to the study, the portion employees pay rose by 63 percent over the same period. However, some employers have clearly decided that shifting costs isn’t effective enough and have instead chosen to stop offering coverage to some or all of their workers.

Health Policy Alternatives Employer Health Benefits

If you work for a company that is no longer able to provide you with health insurance options, there may be other health policy alternative routes you can take to acquire coverage:

  • Spouse’s policy: One option to consider is attempting to acquire health policy coverage through your spouse’s health insurance plan, if he or she is currently insured at work.
  • Low-income resources: Depending on your age, income bracket and health conditions, you and your family may qualify for a number of low-income insurance options.
  • Shop around: Of course, it’s important to shop around with different insurers to find affordable health policy options.

As a part of health care reform, Medicaid qualifications are expected to adjust so that more individuals under higher income brackets are able to qualify. However, with lawmakers preparing to fight over the constitutionality of reform in the Supreme Court, the law could very well see significant changes before being fully implemented in 2014.