A new study shows that the number of American citizens covered by their company’s health plans has dropped to under 60 percent in the year 2011, marking ten years of decline in health coverage as a result of variables such as the high costs of health plans and a lack of available jobs in the health care industry.
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s study, whose results were released yesterday, only 62 percent of workers in Illinois had some form of health coverage in 2011, as opposed to 74 percent in 2000. For those aged 18 and younger, 72 percent were covered in 2000, but only 56 percent eleven years of later. 78 percent of employees aged 26 and above had health coverage in 2000, but that number dipped to 65 percent in 2011. Overall, private health coverage for working-age Americans dropped over 10 percentage points between the years 2000 and 2011. Public coverage suffered a 3 percent decline within the same timeframe. Among individual states, 74 percent of New Hampshire workers were covered by health plans in 2011, marking the highest percentage in the U.S., while New Mexico had the lowest percentage of covered workers at 48 percent.
The above study had found out that one of the main variables that had led to less employees being covered in 2011 was the cost of health plans. Family premium costs had particularly soared in pricing, from $6,400 in 2000 to $14,400 eleven years after. The cost of single premium plans had doubled to over $5,000 between 2000 and 2011. However, many believe that President Barack Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act could be of help for the nation’s percentage of workers covered by health plans. The government is expecting an increase of 27 million covered workers this decade as a result of the act.