September 29, 2009
In March 2008, 74 percent of workers nationwide had access to medical care benefits through their employers. Among 15 metropolitan areas, access rates in December, 2008, ranged from 69 percent in Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona, to 84 percent in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Georgia-Alabama, and Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, Washington.
In Detroit-Warren-Flint, Michigan, 80 percent of workers had access to benefits in December 2008; in Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV, the rate was 79 percent, and in Minneapolis-St. Paul-St. Cloud, Minnesota-Wisconsin, 78 percent.
These data—which are part of a set of experimental estimates for access to retirement benefits, medical care benefits, and life insurance for the 15 largest U.S. metropolitan areas—are from the Employee Benefits Survey. Employees are considered to have access to these benefits if the benefits are available for the employee's use or will be available once a service requirement has been met. A medical care plan under the National Compensation Survey definition must provide medical care through at least one of two provisions: hospital care covering inpatient hospital charges; or physician or surgical care. To learn more, see "Local Area Employee Benefits Estimates for 15 Metropolitan Areas," in Compensation and Working Conditions Online, September 2009.