Larger establishments more likely than smaller establishments to offer medical care benefits

July 29, 2014

Employer-provided medical care benefits were available to 69 percent of private-industry workers in the United States in March 2014. Availability of medical care benefits varied by establishment size; 53 percent of workers in establishments with fewer than 50 employees were offered medical care benefits, compared with 89 percent of workers in establishments with 500 employees or more.

 

Percentage of private-industry employees offered and participating in employer medical care benefits, by establishment size, March 2014
Establishment sizeEmployer offers medical planEmployee participates in planTake-up rate

Total

695072

1 to 49 workers

533871

50 to 99 workers

694971

100 to 499 workers

805671

500 workers or more

896877

 

Not all private-industry workers who are offered medical care benefits choose to participate in their employer’s plan. Among workers in establishments with 500 employees or more who were offered medical care benefits, 77 percent chose to participate in an employer’s plan in March 2014. That compares with a take-up rate of 71 percent of workers in establishments with fewer than 500 employees.

The percentage of workers offered medical care benefits, combined with the percentage who accepted the offer, means that 50 percent of private-industry workers participated in employer-provided medical care benefits in March 2014. As with the availability rates, the participation rates varied by establishment size.

Among private-industry workers who participated in an employer-provided medical care plan in March 2014, employers paid an average of 79 percent of the plan premium for single coverage and 68 percent of the premium for family coverage. The average employer share of the premium payment for single coverage varied little by establishment size. For family coverage, larger establishments paid a higher average share of the premium.

 

Average percentage of medical plan premiums that private-industry employers pay, by establishment size, March 2014
Establishment sizeSingle coverageFamily coverage

Total

7968

1 to 49 workers

7962

50 to 99 workers

7763

100 to 499 workers

7870

500 workers or more

8076

 

These data are from the National Compensation Survey – Benefits program. To learn more, see "Employee Benefits in the United States — March 2014" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL‑14‑1348.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Larger establishments more likely than smaller establishments to offer medical care benefits on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140729.htm (visited December 18, 2014).

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