January 09, 2008
Lower wage full-time workers who participate in employer-provided medical care plans are more likely than higher wage participants to be required to contribute toward their plans’ premiums.
Among participants who are required to make a contribution toward single coverage, there is a 9-percentage-point difference between lower wage workers and higher wage workers. For family coverage, the difference between wage groups was similarly notable: 92 percent of lower wage workers who participate in a medical plan must pay toward their family coverage, while 84 percent of higher wage medical plan participants must make a contribution.
Full-time lower wage workers who participate in a medical plan also pay a larger share of the premium, on average, than do their full-time higher wage counterparts. Lower wage workers are expected to pay for 21 percent of the premium cost for single coverage and 34 percent of the premium cost for family coverage. Higher wage workers, on the other hand, pay 17 percent of the premium cost for single coverage and 27 percent of the premium cost for family coverage.
These data are from the BLS National Compensation Survey program. In this article, lower wage workers are defined as those who earn less than $15 per hour and higher wage workers are defined as those who earn $15 or more per hour. Learn more in "Comparing Employer-Provided Medical Care Benefits for Lower and Higher Wage Full-Time Workers," in the December 2007 issue of Compensation and Working Conditions Online.