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- Not all companies offer their employees health insurance
- Smaller companies are less likely to offer health benefits
- Over 74 percent of businesses did not offer their older employees retiree benefits
It’s estimated that over 40 percent of companies in America did not offer health insurance to their employees in 2011, according to the annual employer health benefits report conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and The Health Research & Educational Trust.
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Do all companies offer health insurance?
Many Americans opt for health insurance through their employer, if they are lucky enough to work for a company that offers it in the first place. Although health insurance coverage through the workplace is one of the major ways people can afford insurance, not every company in the country offers insurance
Small companies, or those with three to 199 employees, are less likely to offer health insurance than larger companies with 200 or more workers.
Only one percent of the large firms did not offer health insurance in 2011, according to Kaiser’s annual report, compared to 41 percent of the smaller companies that did not offer insurance.
The likelihood of smaller companies offering health insurance decreases with the number of employees. Out of the companies with three to nine employees, 52 percent did not offer health insurance in 2011.
A total of 29 percent of employers with 10 to 24 workers did not offer insurance; 15 percent of employers with 25 to 49 employers did not offer insurance and only 7 percent of employers with 50 to 199 workers did not offer health insurance.
How many employees take advantage of their employer’s health insurance plan?
Just because an employer offers health insurance, does not mean every employee receives insurance through the employer. An average of 79 percent of employees is eligible for coverage, with some not eligible because they are newly hired and in a waiting period and others not eligible because they do not work enough hours.
Of the 79 percent of eligible employees, 19 percent opt not to take the coverage, making the overall average of workers receiving health insurance from their employer 65 percent.
Employees may opt out of coverage because they are already receiving health insurance through their spouse or another avenue, or they may feel they cannot afford it.
Combine the companies that offer health insurance with those that do not and the overall average of employees covered by their employers is 58 percent.
How many companies do not offer retiree health benefits?
Even if you’ve spent your entire career toiling away at a company that offered health insurance coverage, once you retire, you may be on your own.
“A total of 74 percent of large companies, or those with 200 or more employees, did not offer any retiree health benefits in 2011,” the Kaiser Foundation said.
The number of employers that offer health benefits for retirees is steadily shrinking, and your age may depend on your company’s willingness to offer retiree benefits under their plan.
The vast majority of 91 percent of companies that offer retiree health benefits offer those benefits to workers who retire early, before age 65. Only 71 percent of the companies extended retiree health benefits to those age 65 or over.
What changes are happening with health insurance in the workplace?
Premiums are steadily increasing for workers, Kaiser notes, with the average premium for family coverage increasing by nine percent in 2011. This increase is dramatically higher than the three percent cost increase the previous year.
The average premium for single coverage in 2011 was $5,429, about $10,000 less per year than family coverage.
The average premiums for family coverage increased 113 percent since 2001, with cheaper premiums at smaller firms. The average cost of family coverage with insurance offered through smaller employers was $14,098, compared to the $15,520 paid for family coverage with larger firms.
More employers are also switching to less expensive plans with higher deductibles to create greater savings for the companies, although many are still passing along an increased premium to their workers.
The enrollment of employees in high-deductible savings plans increased 17 percent in 2011, compared to 13 percent the previous year and eight percent two years forward.
The new health care reform law has also prompted changes in the preventative care offered by employers as well as the number of employees who enrolled their adult children in their health insurance plans.
As health insurance costs continue to increase, some companies are also cutting back on what they offer, even if they do not do away with health insurance altogether. Wal-Mart, for example, is dropping its health insurance coverage offer to newly hired employees who work only part-time, according to Reuters. The retailer is also decreasing the money it puts into health expense accounts for all employees.
What factors affect the number of people covered by company-issued health insurance?
Unemployment is a major factor when it comes to fewer people being covered by health insurance through their employer, as is underemployment and fewer companies offering health insurance in the first place.
As these factors continue to come into play, the number of American adults who do not have health insurance continues to increase, topping off at 41 million in 2010.
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