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BLS: Health Take-Up Rises

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Penetration of group health insurance seems to be holding steady, and the likelihood that workers will take up health coverage may be increasing.

Researchers at the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics have published preliminary benefits access, participation rate and take-up rate data in a summary of results from the latest private industry employee benefits survey, which was conducted in March.

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, increased to 75%, up from 73% in 2007 and up from 74% in 2006, the BLS researchers report.

Private industry access to retirement benefits of all kinds held steady at 61%, and the employee take-up rate fell to 83%, from 84%.

Private industry access to life benefits fell to 58%, from 59%, but the take-up rate held steady at 96%.