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Workers at Small Companies Less Likely to Kick In Cash for Health Coverage

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: August 20, 2008

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 the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). 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.

AHRQ's new 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 didn't 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 didn't 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 didn't 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 didn't contribute to premiums: 16 percent. Georgia had one of the lowest: 1 percent.

AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works to enhance the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care in the United States. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 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 more information, go to MEPS Statistical Brief No. 213: State Differences in Offer Rates and Enrollment in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Plans that Required No Employee Contribution to the Premium Cost, 2005.

Current as of August 2008


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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