Kentuckians who work for small employers in the state aren’t likely to be offered health insurance; most large employers do

Most of Kentucky’s small employers don’t offer health insurance, while almost all of the state’s larger employers do, according to the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Percentage of Kentucky private-sector employers offering coverage, 2012-15

In 2015, 98.3 percent of Kentucky businesses with 50 or more employees offered health insurance, which was about the same as 2012. But only 26.6 percent of small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) did, dropping from 36.4 percent in 2012.

Private employers of all sizes in the state saw a 6.6 percentage point drop between 2012 and 2015, from 54.4 percent to 47.8 percent, which was largely driven by the decline in small employer coverage.

This reflects a long-term decline in employers offering health insurance, says the report.

“That drop of nearly 10 percentage points means that thousands fewer Kentucky small businesses offered health insurance to their workers in 2015,” Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the foundation said in a news release. “We have to make health insurance and health care affordable for all — residents, workers, employers.”

The report says having health insurance is “associated with increased access to needed medical care, better health outcomes and improved health status.”

These findings are part of an ongoing, three-year report for the foundation by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota to study the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in Kentucky. The foundation is paying SHADAC more than $280,000 for the work.

Average Premium per Private Sector Employee in Dollars,
Kentucky, 2012-2015, graph from report

The report also found that insurance premiums are increasing for single people, with employers’ average annual insurance premium for single private-sector employees increasing $587 from 2012 to 2015, from $5,397 to $5,984. This also reflects a long-term nationwide trend, says the release.

Employer premiums for family coverage did not increase significantly, rising to $16,622 in 2015 from $15,734 in 2012 — a difference of $888.

This semi-annual report also analyzed data from several sources regarding health coverage, access to care, cost of care, quality of care and health outcomes and included the results of a spring 2016 Kentucky Health Reform Survey of non-elderly adults. Click here for a copy of the report.

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