Human Capital & Careers

Small Companies Are Dropping Health Benefits

Many employers with fewer than 100 workers have gotten out of the health-care game since the Affordable Care Act's passage in 2010.
David McCannJuly 28, 2016
Small Companies Are Dropping Health Benefits

In the wake of the Affordable Care Act, while large employers are continuing to offer health benefits to their workers, many smaller ones are opting out, according to new findings by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

The EBRI analysis examines the percentage of employers offering health insurance from 2008–2015 to better understand how health insurance “offer rates” have been affected by the ACA, the 2007–2009 recession, and the subsequent economic recovery. The data come from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance Component (MEPS-IC).

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EBRI finds that among larger employers, health insurance offer rates — the percentage of employers offering health insurance benefits to their workers — have been steady for: (1) employers with 1,000 or more employees, around 99%; and (2) for employers with 100–999 employees, in the 92.5% to 95.1% range.

But offer rates among smaller employers have been falling since 2009 for: (1) for employers with fewer than 10 employees, from 35.6% in 2008 to 22.7% in 2015 (a 36% decrease) (b) employers with 10–24 employees, from 66.1% in 2008 to 48.9% in 2015 (a 26% decline); and (c) employers with 25–99 employees, from 81.3% in 2008 to 73.5% in 2015 (a 10% decline).

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