For the fourth year in a row, the number of Americans getting health insurance from their employer has dropped. It’s now at a record low, and there are four suspected reasons why.

Since 2008, Gallup and Healthways have been teaming up to measure the amount of employees with company-sponsored health insurance.

In 2011 (the most recent data available), a record low 44.6% received employer-sponsored health insurance. That’s down from 45.8% in 2010, 46.8% in 2009 and 49.2% in 2008.

And as one would expect after looking at that data, the amount of Americans without any health coverage at all is increasing — from 14.8% in 2008, to 16.2% in 2009, to 16.4% in 2010 and 17.1% in 2011 (another record).

The four contributing factors to these trends, according to Gallup:

  1. Increased unemployment
  2. Workers can no longer afford the rising out-of-pocket costs of the insurance their employers offer
  3. More employers are no longer offering insurance, and
  4. More full-time employees are being forced into part-time jobs (which usually don’t qualify them for benefits).

Gallup and Healthways also tracked a decrease in employer-sponsored coverage across the three main types of employees — full-time, part-time and self-employed full-time workers:

  • 70.9% of full-time employees had employer-sponsored coverage in 2011 (compared to 73.4% in 2010)
  • 33% of part-time workers had employer-sponsored coverage in 2011 (compared to 34% in 2010), and
  • 27.6% of self-employed workers had employer-sponsored coverage in 2011 (compared to 28.3% in 2010).

Info: The data comes from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey, during which a random sample of 353,492 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, were randomly selected and interviewed via telephone.


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