Economic Snapshot | Health

Most states suffer large declines in employer-sponsored health coverage

By Elise Gould, with research assistance from Emily Garr  

The majority of states experienced significant declines in employer-sponsored coverage this decade. A new analysis of the under-65 population documents the variation in both the level and extent of coverage lost between 2000-01 and 2006-07. Forty-one states experienced significant losses in coverage across every region of the United States. South Carolina, Missouri, North Carolina, and Maryland experienced losses in excess of 7 percentage points, while no state experienced an increase. The interactive map below illustrates the loss in employer-sponsored coverage by state, accompanied by coverage of kids and workers.

Employer-sponsored health insurance coverage by state, under 65, 2000/01 to 2006/07

Printable version of map (PDF)

Among children, employer-sponsored health insurance losses exceeded 10 percentage points in Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Iowa. In five states, less than half of children received health insurance from an employer (Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana), while the highest rates of coverage were in New Hampshire (76.7%), Minnesota (71.4%), Connecticut (71.4%), and Massachusetts (71.0%).

Among workers insured through their own or a spouse’s job, the largest declines in coverage occurred in South Carolina and Colorado (7.6 and 7.2 percentage points, respectively). The state with the highest rate of employer-sponsored coverage among workers was Hawaii, a state that mandates employers to provide health insurance to workers who work at least 20 hours per week. Hawaii had a coverage rate in 2006-07 of 80.6%, compared to the national average of 70.9%.

The author would like to thank Sylvia Saab for her assistance on this Snapshot.

See also this companion Briefing Paper from the author.

Check out the archive for past Economic Snapshots.

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See more work by Elise Gould