Penetration of group health insurance seems to be holding steady, but the likelihood that workers will take up health coverage may be falling.
Researchers at the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics published benefits access, participation rate and take-up rate data in a summary of results from the latest private industry employee benefits survey.
The percentage of private industry employees with access to employer-sponsored health insurance plateaued at 71%, while the “take-up rate,” or percentage of private industry employees who actually chose to take up the coverage offered, crept down to 73%, from 74% in 2006 and from 75% in 2005, the BLS researchers report.
Because of a change in BLS methods, the 2007 life benefits penetration figures cannot be compared to life figures from earlier benefits surveys, but the BLS figures show that penetration rates for many other employee benefits have been flat or nearly flat.
The access rate for long term care insurance, for example, is 12% this year, the same as the rate was in 2005 and 2006.