Interactive Map: Health Care in Crisis

Working Adults Are Losing Their Health Insurance

Almost two-thirds of uninsured adults work, and that number is expected to grow in the coming years, show Peter Harbage and Ben Furnas in an interactive map.

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It used to be that having a job meant having health insurance. But no longer. As health care costs have skyrocketed and wages have stagnated, fewer employers can offer coverage and fewer employees can afford it when it isoffered. According to the most recent census data, 65 percent of uninsured adults in the United States are employed—that’s 24 million of the 37 million adults who were uninsured in 2007. The states with the highest percentage of working uninsured tend to be rural states: Kansas tops the list, with 75 percent of uninsured working adults employed. Also in the top 10 are states such as New Hampshire (74 percent), Maine (72 percent), and Montana (71 percent).

The map below shows the number and percentage of adults (age 18-64) in each state who are employed but don’t have health insurance.


More and more people will see their employers drop health insurance due to cost and the weak economy without health reform. Even employers think the situation will only get worse: According to a survey by Hewitt Associates, a national benefits management firm, 19 percent of employers are planning to stop offering benefits in the next two to five years. Reforming our health care system so that every American is able to afford the coverage they need and deserve is in everyone’s best interest.

Employment-based insurance is on the decline.

Most Americans have always received health insurance through an employer, but recent trends show a decline. The percent of Americans under age 65 with employer-sponsored insurance declined to less than 63 percent in 2007, from more than 67 percent in 1999. This is due in part to the rising costs of employer-sponsored insurance–a top reason why employers don’t offer coverage. In 2008, the average annual premium for a family with employer-sponsored insurance was $12,680—a 119 percent increase over the last 10 years.

Workers need health reform.

The top reasons that workers don’t have health insurance are that their employer does not offer it, they are not eligible for the insurance their employer does offer, or they can’t afford to participate in their employer’s coverage plan. Without access to employer coverage, workers who do not qualify for public programs are left to purchase coverage on the individual market—where 89 percent of individuals give up because they can’t find coverage that meets their needs or that they can afford. Uninsured workers need health reform to give them the access to affordable coverage that they need.

The map above shows the number and percentage of adults (age 18-64) in each state who are employed but don’t have health insurance.

Download this report (pdf)

Read more:

Interactive Map: Dramatic Increase in the Uninsured Rate in Every State

Report: More Americans Are Losing Health Insurance Every Day

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