Practice Economics

Health insurance gap widens between large and small companies


Almost 96% of larger companies still offer health insurance to their employees, but the trend toward smaller companies not providing coverage has accelerated in the last few years, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In 2012, 50.1% of all U.S. firms offered health insurance to their employees, down from 57.8% in 2001-2002. (All estimates represent 2-year averages, except for 2012.) That decline occurred almost entirely among smaller companies – those with fewer than 50 employees – as the percentage offering coverage fell from 45.3% in 2001-2002 to 35.2% in 2012, with two-thirds of the decline occurring after 2008-2009, the RWJF analysis showed.

Among larger companies, the decline was much smaller: from 96.7% in 2001-2002 to 95.9% in 2012.

The data for the analysis came from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Insurance Component.

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