On June 21, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation hosted a webinar on the future of employer-sponsored insurance in the states. Two reports released were released that shed light on the decade-long decline in the number of Americans with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) and the increase in ESI that experts expect as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is implemented. State-specific data from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at the University of Minnesota show the percentage of Americans who get their health insurance through their jobs declined eight percentage points in a decade—from 69 percent in 1999/2000 to 61 percent in 2008/2009. As a result, about 7 million fewer people get their health insurance through their employer than a decade ago, with low- and moderate-income families hardest hit.
A separate report from the Urban Institute finds that ACA will likely stem this decline, especially among small businesses, which are expected to modestly increase offers of insurance and see premiums fall under ACA. Urban researchers estimate that insurance offer rates for all firms with 100 (or fewer) employees would increase by nearly 10 percent under ACA. Firms with fewer than 10 employees would see the biggest jump—an increase in offer rates of more than 14 percent.
The webinar was sponsored by RWJF and is part of an ongoing commitment by the Foundation to support timely research on key policy questions and share the information broadly. Speakers included:
- Andy Hyman, J.D., Coverage team director and senior program officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Julie Sonier, M.P.A., deputy director, SHADAC
- Linda Blumberg, Ph.D., economist and senior fellow, Urban Institute