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Work-based coverage declined by record percentage in 2009

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 9, 2011

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The percentage of Americans covered by employer-sponsored health insurance decreased to 52% in 2009, down from 53.3% in 2008. This is the largest one-year decline in two decades, according to "The Impact of the 20072009 Recession on Workers' Health Coverage" by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonpartisan research organization based in Washington, D.C. The percentage of people with dependent coverage also fell in 2009 to 16.3%, a drop of 0.7 percentage points.

"As we start to examine the data from 2010, we will be able to determine whether the economic recovery has started to have an effect on health benefits among workers who lost coverage during the recession," said Paul Fronstin, PhD, report author and director of EBRI's Health Research and Education Program.

Employee-sponsored health insurance is still the single-largest type of health coverage Americans have. In 2009, 16.7% of Americans were covered by Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program; 6.3%, by individual coverage; and 3%, by Medicare or military coverage. Almost 19% were uninsured.

The report is available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/05/09/gvbf0509.htm.

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