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Employer-sponsored health insurance hits all-time low Posted: December 20th, 2010

By Maryalene LaPonsie

The number of American adults who receive their health insurance through an employer has dropped more than 5% in the past two years. According to the most recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, employer-sponsored medical coverage has hit its lowest level since the index began its tracking.

Respondents to the November 2010 Gallup poll reported receiving medical coverage from the following sources:

  • Employer-based programs: 44.8%
  • Government programs: 26.0%
  • Uninsured: 16.1%

Government programs include Medicare, Medicaid or military/veterans' programs. The number of uninsured - 1 in 6 adults - is down slightly from the 16.8% that reported being without medical coverage in May 2010.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index first began tracking health insurance sources in January 2008. At that time, 50% of respondents had medical coverage through an employer-based program.

The survey comes on the heels of government efforts to increase access to health insurance through employers. Small business credits were rolled out earlier this year to encourage health benefits for workers at companies with fewer than 25 full-time employees.

Currently, businesses are not required to provide health insurance to their employees. However, that will change in 2014 when the Affordable Care Act mandates employer-sponsored coverage for workers at companies with more than 50 full-time employees.