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Union workers more likely than nonunion workers to have healthcare benefits in 2019

October 28, 2019

Ninety-five percent of civilian union workers and 68 percent of nonunion workers had access to employer-provided healthcare benefits in March 2019. Access means the benefit is available to employees, regardless of whether they chose to participate. Eighty-four percent of union workers and 54 percent of nonunion workers participated in an employer-sponsored healthcare plan. The take-up rates—the share of workers with access who participate in the plan—were 88 percent for union workers and 79 percent for nonunion workers.

Healthcare benefit access, participation, and take-up rates for union and nonunion civilian workers, March 2019
Healthcare plan type and measure Union Nonunion

Healthcare access

95% 68%

Healthcare participation

84 54

Healthcare take-up rate

88 79

Medical care access

94 68

Medical care participation

75 48

Medical care take-up rate

80 71

Dental care access

74 40

Dental care participation

62 31

Dental care take-up rate

84 77

Vision care access

56 23

Vision care participation

48 18

Vision care take-up rate

85 79

Outpatient prescription drug coverage access

93 67

Outpatient prescription drug coverage participation

74 47

Outpatient prescription drug coverage take-up rate

80 71

Healthcare benefits include medical, dental, and vision care benefits, and outpatient prescription drug coverage. Medical care and outpatient prescription drug coverage were the most common healthcare benefits available to both union and nonunion workers.

About three-quarters of union workers had access to dental benefits and more than half had access to vision care benefits. Among nonunion workers, 40 percent had access to dental benefits and 23 percent had access to vision care benefits.

These data are from the National Compensation Survey — Benefits program. For more information, see Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2019.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Union workers more likely than nonunion workers to have healthcare benefits in 2019 at (visited July 19, 2024).

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