The percentage of workers covered by employer-sponsored health insurance has held steady, despite arguments that the Affordable Care Act would spur a decline.
Between June 2013 and March 2015 just over 70% of U.S. workers were covered by a plan provided by their employer, according to a study released Wednesday by the Urban Institute Health Policy Center.
To that end, employers regardless of company size continued to offer insurance coverage, the study found. The number of small-firm employers that offered insurance grew to 61.3% in March 2015, up from 60.6% in June 2013.
Of those offers in 2015, 81.6% of employees accepted. More large firms offered insurance coverage during that time frame as well, with 94.3% extending offers in March 2015, compared with 94.1% in June 2013, with an 88.8% acceptance rate. Thus, the number of workers at all firms surveyed who received an offer grew slightly, from 82.3% to 83%, with 87% of them accepting the offer.
Looking ahead to next year, there's no reason to believe the numbers will decline, said Fredric Blavin, senior research associate at the Urban Institute Health Policy Center. Employers still have strong tax incentives to offer health insurance to their employees, he said, and the employer mandate will be in full effect.
Whether or not employees fell below the federal poverty level had no effect on the increases, according to the study. Workers at all firms at or below the poverty line with employer-sponsored insurance grew to 46.7%, up from 44.6%. Workers at big and small firms also saw an increase in coverage, up to 86.9% in March 2015, an increase from 86.2% in June 2013.