Fewer Small Employers Offering Health Coverage; Large Employers Holding Steady

July 2016, Vol. 37, No. 8
Paperback, 8 pp.
PDF, 555 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2016

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Executive Summary

This EBRI Notes article examines the percentage of employers offering health insurance from 2008-2015 to better understand how health insurance offer rates have been affected by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), the Great Recession of 2007-2009, and the subsequent economic recovery. The data come from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance Component (MEPS-IC).


Here are the key findings:



  • Among larger employers, health insurance offer rates—the percentage of employers offering health coverage to their workers—have been steady: (a) for employers with 1,000 or more employees, around 99 percent, and (b) for employers with 100–999 employees, in the 92.5 percent to 95.1 percent range.
  • Offer rates among smaller employers have been falling since 2009: (a) for employers with fewer than 10 employees, from 35.6 percent in 2008 to 22.7 percent in 2015 (a 36 percent decrease), (b) for employers with 10-24 employees, from 66.1 percent in 2008 to 48.9 percent in 2015 (a 26 percent decline), and (c) for employers with 25-99 employees, from 81.3 percent in 2008 to 73.5 percent in 2015 (a 10 percent decline).