Employer coverage

Wealthier people more likely to have employer insurance

Data: Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the National Health Interview Survey; Note: Excludes elderly population; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Low-income workers are significantly less likely to receive health insurance through their employer than wealthier people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Only 28% of full-time workers below the federal poverty level have employer insurance.

Between the lines: Lower-income jobs are less likely to offer health benefits, and health care costs are also rising significantly faster than wages. "Employer health coverage is a part of compensation for workers, and low-wage workers just can’t command that level of compensation," Kaiser's Larry Levitt said.

The quiet, steady rise of employer health coverage

Data: Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

After many years of steady decline, the proportion of people under 65 with employer health coverage has started to increase. About seven million more people gained employer coverage between 2013 and 2017 — nearly as many as the 10 million people who were covered through the Affordable Care Act's marketplace last year.

Why it matters: Since people with employer coverage are the largest insured group in the country, the next wave of health reform will be more politically successful if it resonates with their concerns.

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