The Bottom Drops Out
In 2008, 56.4% of all employers were offering health coverage to their employees. We all know what comes next: a recession. With that recession, the number of employers offering health coverage plummeted to a low of 45.3% in 2016. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) — signed into law on March 23, 2010 — came about at an unfortunate moment, and did little to stem the tide. Fortunately, recessions don't last forever. It's been a slow recovery but a recovery nonetheless. Now it seems that the rate of health insurance coverage is finally starting to catch up with the economy.
A New Start?
The economy is in a much better place now, and with that the labor market is tightening. Unemployment is at its lowest point since 2000 and we are currently at (or very close to, at least) what's known as "full employment". That means that nearly everyone who wants a job can get a job.
For employers, this means that there's lots of competition for the best talent. In order to attract employees, employers are adding health coverage (and other desirable benefits) to their benefits package. Exactly how much of an impact is this having on health insurance numbers? Let's take a look.
The Bottom Line
This rise in overall coverage is not affecting all business equally. In general, the larger the business the more likely they are to offer coverage. 99% of businesses with 1000 or more employees offer health insurance, and that number doesn't change much. When you take a look at small to mid-sized businesses, things get more interesting.
From 2015 to 2017, the rise in coverage cost for small businesses up to 1,000 employees rose steadily across the board. The greatest gains were in businesses with 100-999 employees with a 1.2% increase, but the numbers increased across the board. We don't have the numbers for 2018 in yet, but odds are that coverage rates will continue on this upward trend.
The economy is a tricky beast, and it's impossible to predict where we'll be 10 or 20 years from now. Should this trend continue upwards unimpeded, that's certainly great news for both employers and employees. Of course, this also depends on how well employers can adapt to a changing healthcare industry. Finding a way to cut costs without sacrificing quality health insurance is going to be vital as we proceed forward.
At Summerlin-Roberts we leverage our expertise in cost containment to provide the best possible health benefits at the lowest possible price, resulting in happier employees and leaner budgets. For more information about providing affordable health insurance that will satisfy your employees, please contact us today.