From the New York Times –
It’s a startling reminder that when people lose their jobs, they typically also lose their health insurance coverage. The share of children and working-age adults who had insurance through an employer fell 10 percentage points during the last recession, according to a study released on Thursday by the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan research group in Washington.
From 2007 to 2010, the share of children and working-age adults with employer-sponsored coverage fell to 53.5 percent from 63.6 percent, according to the study.
The major contributor to the decline was the loss of employment during the downturn, with almost a third of the people younger than 65 living in a family where no one was working, according to the study. The study is based on the center’s 2007 and 2010 Health Tracking Household Surveys.
The surge in unemployment, coupled with the steady deterioration of the number of employers offering coverage and the number of workers signing up for insurance, is causing a “steady erosion” in employer-based coverage, said Chapin White, a senior researcher at the center who is an author of the study.
“There’s been a lot of debate about what health reform is going to do to employer-sponsored coverage,” he said, but much of that discussion ignores the significant decline in employers as a source of coverage. “The backdrop for that debate is shifting,” he said.
The study was conducted for the National Institute for Health Care Reform, a nonprofit group founded by Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and the United Automobile Workers union.