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Health coverage up, but not because of benefits

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

More working-age Americans had health insurance in last year, even though the rate of coverage through employment-based health plans remained essentially flat. That’s according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).  

The increase in coverage was mainly due to more people buying insurance on their own and the growth of publicly financed care such as Medicaid, EBRI concluded. The group’s analysis focused on changes in health coverage between 2013 and 2014, the year before and after provisions in the Affordable Care Act took effect.

As intended, the law “increased health insurance coverage and reduced the uninsured,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program and author of the report. But that coverage growth did not occur in working-age adults (18-64) in employment-based health plans, where the rate of coverage was unchanged at 62% between 2013 and 2014.

During that time, the percentage of workers with no health insurance coverage fell from 17.2% in 2013 to 13.3%.

Twelve percent of individuals under age 65 did not have health insurance at any point in 2014, down from 15.4% in 2013. Just over 32 million were uninsured in 2014, down from 41.1 million in 2013.

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