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The number of workers enrolled in employer-provided benefit plans has dropped by a rate of 5 per cent since the recession, the Employment Benefit Research Institute says. Just 54.2 per cent of employees were enrolled in health care plans at work as of April 2011, down from 60 per cent in pre-recession 2007.
“While the link between health insurance coverage and employment has long been known, these data underscore the degree to which unemployment rates directly affect the levels of the uninsured in the United States,” Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program and author of the report, said in a statement.
While there’s no denying the impact of employment rates on insurance access, affordability is also an issue. There are an estimated 40 million Americans without health care, the cost of which will exceed the average household income by 2030, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.
In EBRI’s study, the overwhelming majority of workers–90 per cent–said they simply can’t afford the expense.
The report comes after the CDC released a study a surge in ER visits by patients without health care. Nearly 80 per cent of ER patients said they chose hospitals because they had no access to other medical services.
From the CDC’s report:
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