EBRI Issue Brief

Employment-Based Health Benefits: Analysis of the April 1993 Current Population Survey

Aug 1, 1994 36  pages


  • The April 1993 CPS differs from the March 1993 CPS in a number of respects. The April 1993 CPS supplement surveys only workers, whereas the March CPS examines the noncash benefits received by all Americans. The April CPS asks workers about health coverage in the week in which the questions were fielded, whereas the March CPS asks about coverage in the preceding year.
  • In April 1993, there were 112.5 million civilian American workers between the ages of 18 and 64 with jobs. Eighty-two million (73 percent) of them worked for an employer that sponsored a health insurance plan, and 65 million (58 percent of all workers) participated in their employer's health plan.
  • About one-third of workers at firms with fewer than 10 employees had employers who offer health benefits; about one-quarter of all of the workers in these firms participated in their employer's plan. Conversely, 94 percent of workers at firms with more than 1,000 employees had an employer who sponsored health benefits, and over 77 percent of these workers participated in their employer's plan.
  • There are 16.5 million American workers whose employers sponsored health benefits but who did not participate in these benefits. Over one-half of these workers (8.5 million) chose not to be covered. Another 36 percent of these workers (5.9 million) did not participate because they were ineligible or denied coverage.
  • Over 66 percent of the ineligible workers did not participate because they were part-time, contract, or temporary workers. Another 26 percent had not yet completed a probationary period.
  • Among the reasons that those who chose not to participate in their employer's coverage, the vast majority (75 percent) stated they were covered by another health care plan. Twenty-nine percent stated that they chose not to purchase coverage because it was too costly or that they did not need or want the coverage.
  • In 1993, there were 16.7 million workers with no health insurance coverage. The vast majority of these workers (95 percent) were employed by private employers. Sixty-six percent of the workers with no health insurance coverage were self-employed or worked for firms with fewer than 100 employees.