Large employers are continuing to make more use of self-insurance programs, but the small employers that still offer health benefits are making less use of self-insurance.
Paul Fronstin, an analyst at the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), has published data supporting that conclusion in a report based on federal government survey data.
Fronstin found that the percentage of all U.S. private-sector group plan enrollees who are in self-insured plans increased to 58.5 percent in 2011, from 57.5 percent in 2010.
The percentage has increased every year since 2006 and is up from a modern low of 40.9 percent recorded in 1998.
But Fronstin found a size-based split in use of self-insurance: The percentage has increased to 68.5 percent, from 67.5 percent, for employees of employers with 50 or more employees, and it has fallen to 10.8 percent, from 12.5 percent, for employees of employers with fewer than 50 employees.