A new report put out by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) looks at national trends in employer-sponsored benefits between 1997 and 2010. Not surprisingly, what they are finding looks pretty darn grim. During that time:
- The percentage of workers who are offered health insurance benefits by their employers has declined from 70.1% to 67.5%, and the number of workers covered by those plans fell from 60.3% to 56.5%.
- The percentage of workers who actually take up coverage when offered it from their employers also fell from 86% to 83.6%.
- The percentage of workers who turned down employer health insurance offers because they could not afford it went up from 23.2% to 29.1%.
This is pretty troubling stuff, but we’ve known for a while that health insurance costs are getting to be too much for many employers and more and more have to either raise prices for employees or drop coverage altogether. This is also the same reason why the Affordable Care Act came about. Essentially, the “free market” is pricing too many of us working folks out of decent health care. Once implemented, a New York Health Insurance Exchange should start to alleviate this problem for a lot of folks and employers in our state.