Fewer U.S. adults aged 26 to 64 are getting health insurance from an employer in 2012, continuing a downward trend that began in 2008. The 55.9% who reported having it in the second quarter of 2012 is down from 56.7% in 2011 and is the lowest Gallup has found since 2008. At the same time, the percentage of 18- to 25-year-olds with employer-based insurance — which also initially declined in 2008 and 2009 — has since stabilized and appears to even up so far in 2012.
The slight uptick from 2011 to 2012 in employer-based insurance among 18- to 25-year-olds comes as the uninsured rate for that age group continues to decrease. Young adults have become less likely to be uninsured since the fall of 2010, when the provision of the healthcare law that allows them to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26 went into effect.
The percentage of all American adults with employer-based health insurance was 44.2% in the second quarter of 2012, a figure which has generally decreased since 2008. However, government-based health insurance — Medicare, Medicaid, and military/veterans’ benefits – is at 25.7% in the second quarter of 2012, and is still much higher than it was in 2008 and 2009.
The increase in government health insurance is evident among 18- to 25-year-olds and 26- to 64-year-olds. In the second quarter of 2012, 19.7% of adults aged 18 to 25 said they get their health coverage from a government program, up from 18.9% in 2011, and much higher than the 16.3% who said the same in 2008.
Similarly, the 13.4% of 26- to 64-year-olds who reported having government-based health insurance last quarter is up from 12.6% in 2011 and is higher than the 11.2% in 2008.
However, Americans aged 65 and older — nearly all of whom qualify for Medicare — are just as likely to report government health insurance now as they have been since 2008.