Report: Iowa's job-based insurance declined faster than U.S. rate
Friday, December 07, 2012 12:12 PM
Although most Americans under 65 rely on health insurance offered through the workplace, the rate of coverage continues to decline, and is declining more rapidly in Iowa than nationally, according to a new report
from the Economic Policy Institute.
Nationally, 58.3 percent of Americans under 65 have job-based health insurance, down from more than 69 percent in 2000. By comparison, the rate of job-based coverage in Iowa has slipped from 76.9 percent to 66.1 percent, with a net decrease of more than 150,000 insured workers and family members.
"The rate of job-based health care is a little higher in Iowa, but is also declining more quickly," said Colin Gordon, senior research consultant for the Iowa Policy Project, in a release.
"We are losing jobs in sectors that historically offered health coverage, while the increased costs of private coverage has pushed some employers to pare back their coverage and some employees to forgo coverage even when it is offered," Gordon said. "The result is an increased burden for public health programs like hawk-i and Medicaid, and a growing share of working Iowans with no security in the face of illness or injury."
More than 100,000 of the Iowans who lost employer-based coverage since 2000 are under the age of 18, a burden that is partially shouldered by the state's child health insurance program (hawk-i).