According to a new report released this week by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2009 marked the first year since 2000 that the percentage of Americans under 65 years of age with employer-based health coverage—either their own insurance or as a dependent—dipped below 60 percent. The report also found that 2009 marked the steepest one-year decline in the percent of Americans with employer-based coverage. Among the other findings:

  • In 2009, 59 percent of Americans under 65 were covered by employer-based health benefits, 16.7 percent were covered by Medicaid or SCHIP, 6.3 percent bought coverage directly from an insurer, and 3 percent were covered by Medicare or Tricare. Roughly 19 percent of Americans under 65 were uninsured in 2009.
  • The percentage of workers who received work-based coverage fell from 53.2 percent in 2008 to 52 percent in 2009, a 2.4 percent overall decline.
  • While workers with a high school degree or less experienced a statistically significant decline in health coverage through their employer, workers with a college or a graduate degree did not experience similar declines.
  • Roughly 73 percent of workers employed in the public sector had health coverage through their employer, compared with 51.6 percent of private sector employees.

Read the full report here.