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Feds: Benefits Access Holds Steady

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Penetration of group health insurance seems to be about the same this year as it was in 2007, but the likelihood that workers will sign up for health coverage may be increasing.

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%, but the “take-up rate,” or percentage of private industry employees who actually chose to take up the coverage offered, crept up to 75%, from 73%, the BLS researchers report.

The access rate for long term care insurance rose to 13%, from 12%, and the access rate for dental insurance rose to 47%, from 46%.

About 8% of private-industry employees had access to health savings accounts, the same as in 2007.

Flexible spending account access held steady at 33%, and wellness program access held steady at 25%.

Access to employee assistance programs held steady at 42%.