It was expected that many employers would stop offering workplace health insurance following the passage of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But that wasn’t the case recently report by the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI). Between 2014 and 2022, the percentage of employees eligible for health benefits increased by 5%.
EBRI is a nonprofit research organization focused on employee benefits. The report is based on the Medical Expenditure Panel – Insurance Component survey, which is a survey conducted among private and public sector employers conducted by the Agency for Research and Quality in Health Care. Analyzes how the prices of health insurance offers were affected by the ACA and the Great Recession of 2007–2009.
The report found that in 2008, 56.4% of private sector employers provided health benefits, but in 2016 this dropped to 45.3%. This percentage then increased to 51.1% in 2020 before falling to 48.3% in 2022.
The report also found that in 2022, approximately 81% of employees of private sector employers were eligible for health benefits, a number that has been increasing since 2014. As of 2013, health benefits are offered by approximately 99% of employers with at least 1,000 employees. In 2022, health benefits were provided by 97% of employers with 100 to 999 employees. According to Paul, it will probably stay that way Fronstin, director of health benefits research at EBRI.
Larger and mid-sized employers are highly unlikely to conclude that offering their own health plan is not critical to attracting and retaining employees. Despite recent debates about whether the United States is in a recession, the unemployment rate currently remains at historically low levels. However, when the next economic downturn hits, it will be interesting to see whether fewer large and mid-sized employers continue to offer health insurance. Fronstin said in a statement that this did not occur during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report found that smaller employers are less likely to offer health benefits. Among employers with fewer than 10 employees, 24.9% offered health benefits in 2022, up from 28% in 2013. About 53.6% of employers with 10 to 24 employees offered health benefits in 2022, which means an increase from 48.9% in 2015. Approximately 80.1% of employers with 25 to 99 employees provided health services in 2022 compared to 73.5% in 2015.
Fronstin noted that there is a risk that employer health insurance will change in the future.
It’s also possible that certain changes in public policy, if adopted, could discourage some large and small employers from offering health benefits and make some workers care less about whether they receive health insurance from their employer, Fronstin said. You could change the tax exclusion for employment-based health insurance, which is an old idea that recently came to light again. Biden’s health care plan and individual medical reimbursement arrangements could also disrupt the strong link between employment and health insurance.
Photo: Natalia Nesterenko, Getty Images
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