Report | Health

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Erosion Accelerates in the Recession

Briefing Paper #283

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Briefing Paper: A decade of declines in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage

An update of this report, titled A decade of declines in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, was released in 2012.


The share of Americans under age 65 covered by employment-based health insurance eroded for the ninth year in a row, falling from 61.9% in 2008 to 58.9% in 2009. While the country was already in a recession in 2008, the economy sharply deteriorated in 2009. The unemployment rate increased from 5.8% to 9.3% between 2008 and 2009, the largest one-year increase on record. As most Americans, particularly those under 65 years old, rely on health insurance obtained through the workplace, it is no surprise that employer-sponsored health insurance fell from 2008 to 2009 at a rate three times as high as in the first year of the recession.


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