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Worker Enrollment in Health Insurance Plans Offered by Large Employers Varies Widely by Industry

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: August 9, 2005

Just-released data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), which is conducted by the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, show that roughly 64 percent of American workers in large, private-sector companies (50 or more employees) were enrolled in health insurance plans offered by their employers in 2003, but enrollment rates varied substantially by type of industry.

  • Enrollment rates ranged from a high of nearly 82 percent in the mining and manufacturing industry to a low of roughly 41 percent of employees in Other Services Industries-a category that includes hotel and restaurant workers, sanitation workers, and laundry employees.
  • Enrollment rates in other large employers by industry type were:
    • Wholesale trade—79 percent.
    • Financial services and real estate—77 percent.
    • Transportation—72 percent.
    • Professional services—68 percent.
    • Construction—63 percent.
    • Retail trade—49 percent.
  • The average employee contributions toward premiums were $627 for single coverage and $2,242 for a family of four, also varying by type of industry.

For more information, including the percentages of workers enrolled in single or family coverage plans by industry type, go to Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance for Large Employers in the Private Sector, by Industry Classification, 2003 at [PDF Help] on AHRQ's MEPS Web site.

For statistics for small private-sector employers (fewer than 50 workers), go to Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance for Small Employers in the Private Sector, by Industry Classification, 2003, at [PDF Help].


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