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Workers at small companies are less likely to kick in cash for health coverage

Among workers at small, private-sector companies, only about half—48 percent—who had single-person health insurance in 2005 were required to contribute to monthly premiums, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ARHQ). By comparison, 86 percent of workers at large companies (with 50 or more on the payroll) with health insurance were required to pay for individual coverage.

The contrast was also seen among workers with family coverage. At small firms, 64 percent of them contributed to premiums. At larger firms, 91 percent contributed. The analysis also showed the portion of workers who contributed to premiums varied by geography in the 10 most populous States.

For small companies:

  • California had one of the highest portions of workers who did not contribute to premiums for single-person coverage: 63 percent. Ohio had one of the lowest at 37 percent.
  • New York had one of the highest portions of workers who had family coverage but did not contribute to premiums: 55 percent. Texas had one of the lowest at 29 percent.

For large companies:

  • California had the highest portion of workers who had individual coverage but did not contribute to premiums at 27 percent. At 10 percent, Florida had one of the lowest.
  • California also had one of the highest portions of employees with family coverage who did not contribute to premiums: 16 percent. Georgia had one of the lowest: 1 percent.

The data are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. For more information, go to State Differences in Offer Rates and Enrollment in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Plans that Required No Employee Contribution to the Premium Cost, 2005, Statistical Brief #213, at http://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications.

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