Two-thirds of State and local government workers get their health plans from their employers

Research Activities, March 2010, No. 355

About 66 percent of the nearly 20 million State and local government employees were enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans in 2008 compared with 54 percent of private-sector workers, according to the latest data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Agency's analysis of State and local government employee health plan data, broken down by the nine Census divisions, found that:

  • The highest average annual total premiums ($6,631) for plans that only covered the employee (single-coverage) were in the New England division of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, while they were the lowest ($4,560) in the West South Central division—Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.
  • New England employees also had the highest average annual total premium ($16,965) for plans that covered families, with the lowest premium($12,068) in the South Atlantic division of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • Workers in New England with single-coverage plans contributed more ($1,097) on average to the cost of that premium than workers in the neighboring Middle Atlantic division - New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania ($291).
  • In contrast, State and local government workers in the West South Central division ($4,048) contributed the most on average to the family plan premium and those in the Middle Atlantic division contributed the least ($957).

These data are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid for. For more information, go to Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance for Employees of State and Local Governments by Census Division, 2008 at http://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st273/stat273.shtml.

Current as of March 2010
Internet Citation: Two-thirds of State and local government workers get their health plans from their employers: Research Activities, March 2010, No. 355. March 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/mar10/0310RA26.html