The number of employers who offer health insurance coverage has been dropping for 11 years — according to a new report out of the Economic Policy Institute.
The non-profit, non-partisan think tank found that about 58 percent of U.S. companies offer health coverage — down almost 11 percent since 2000.
Oregon companies do a little better, with about 59 percent offering their workers health coverage.
EPI economist, Elise Gould, says the numbers are troubling because when people don’t have insurance, they often don’t go to the doctor when they need to and may get sicker, which makes treatment more expensive.
Gould said, “Employer-sponsored insurance has historically been the predominant form of insurance for the under-65 population in this country. And when that falls, and those people aren’t being picked up by other forms of insurance, that’s undeniably a bad thing for this country and for many working families in this country.”
Massachusetts and Hawaii have the highest coverage rates at 79 and 77 percent, largely because both state have mandates requiring that employers provide at least minimal coverage.
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