Employer Health Plan Offerings Are Often Out of Reach for Employees Wishing to Purchase Coverage for Children

As we all know, the overall cost of employer-sponsored insurance premiums and associated out of pocket costs such as deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance keeps going up. These rising costs can put the purchase of employer based insurance and associated costs out of reach for many employees even though it may be offered as part of a benefits package.

In addition, employer-sponsored health insurance can often be a family’s only option for coverage as the parents salaries may put them over the limit to qualify for Medicaid. The children however, may still qualify for Medicaid coverage. It is possible that with some lower-income employees, the children may qualify and Medicaid or CHIP may become an acceptable alternative to more expensive private insurance options for their children.

A recent Health Affairs study, (http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/35/12/2302.abstract) looked at levels of insurance for children from various sources over that time. They tracked the coverage rates of low and moderate income families where one or more parents were offered employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI).

Over this time period, they found that in families where parents were covered by ESI, the percentage of kids who were not covered by that insurance increased from 22.5% in 2008 to 25.0% in 2013. The percentage of such children who were covered by Medicaid or CHIP also increased from 12.1% to 15.2%. In other words, in families where parents were covered by job-offered private insurance, more and more of their kids were being covered by public insurance.

This trend is of particular importance as 2017 gets underway. Rising healthcare costs, the focus on ACA/ObamaCare, Medicaid programs and employer based plan offerings may all be impacted in some form with our new government administration and thus the trends in coverage of children needs to be highlighted.

To read more about this study and its findings go to:

www.academyhealth.org/blog/2017-01/more-families-employer-sponsored-insurance-are-needing-public-assistance