July 1997

Characteristics of Individuals with Employement-Based Health Insurance, 1987-1995

The percentage of the nonelderly population (individuals under age 65) with employment-based health insurance coverage declined steadily from 1987 to 1995. In 1987, 69.2 percent of the nonelderly population received employment-based health insurance coverage. By 1995, this percentage declined to 63.8 percent.

The percentage of the nonelderly with employment-based health insurance coverage in their own name declined slightly, from 33.8 percent in 1987 to 32.7 percent in 1995. The percentage of nonelderly with employment-based coverage as a dependent declined from 35.4 percent in 1987 to 32.7 percent in 1995.

Northeastern and Midwestern states had higher rates of employment-based health insurance coverage than Southern and Western states. The states with the highest rates of employment-based health insurance coverage in 1995 were Wisconsin (75.6 percent), New Hampshire (74.9 percent), and Connecticut (74.8 percent). The states with the lowest rates of employment-based health insurance coverage in 1995 were New Mexico (45.6 percent), Louisiana (50.2 percent), and Oklahoma (55.3 percent).

Northeastern and Midwestern cities had higher rates of employment-based health insurance coverage than Southern and Western cities. The cities with the highest rate of employment-based health insurance coverage in 1995 were Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA (82.4 percent); Ann Arbor, MI (80.8 percent); and Rochester, NY (78.3 percent). The cities with the lowest rate of employment-based health insurance coverage in 1995 were El Paso, TX (38.3 percent); Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA (45.3 percent); and Miami, FL (49.6 percent).

Industry is an important determinant of whether a worker will have employment-based health insurance coverage. In 1995, the industries with the highest rates of employment-based coverage were government (86.7 percent) and finance, insurance, and real estate (86.1 percent). The industries with the lowest rates of employment-based health insurance coverage were agriculture (44.1 percent) and personal services (50.3 percent).

Firm size is another important determinant of whether a worker will have employment-based health insurance coverage. In 1995, 25.8 percent of workers in firms with fewer than 10 employees received employment-based health insurance coverage from their employer, compared with 68.5 percent of workers in firms with 1,000 or more employees.

Full-time workers were more likely to have employment-based health insurance in their own name than part-time workers. In 1995, 63.2 percent of full-time workers received employment-based health insurance coverage in their own name, compared with 20.1 percent of part-time workers.

The percentage of children ages 0-17 with employment-based health insurance coverage declined steadily from 66.7 percent in 1987 to 58.6 percent in 1995.

For more information, contact Ken McDonnell, (202) 775-6342, or see EBRI's Web site at www.ebri.org.

Source: "Expanding Health Insurance for Children," EBRI Issue Brief no. 187, July 1997; "Trends in Health Insurance Coverage," EBRI Issue Brief no. 185, May 1997; "Sources of Health Insurance Coverage and Characteristics of the Uninsured," EBRI Issue Brief no. 158, November 1996; and Special Appendix to "Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured," November 1996.
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