Policy Matters Report: Employer-sponsered health insurance falls short
By Amanda Woodrum, August 2, 2018
The United States built its health care system around employer-sponsored health insurance. This approach leaves out many Ohioans and many Americans. In 2016, Ohio employers covered only 5.8 of 11.4 million Ohioans.
The public sector covers many people who do not get employer-based coverage. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare covers 1.8 million Ohioans aged 65 or older, many of whom are retired from work, and 360,000 people in Ohio with disabilities. Medicaid provides health coverage to 1.2 million children and over 1.1 million low-income adults between the ages of 18 and 64. Another 200,000 Ohioans gained direct access to coverage through the publicly-subsidized health insurance marketplace.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the 2014 Medicaid Expansion, the number of uninsured Ohioans declined by almost half, from 1.26 million in 2013 to 640,000 in 2016 (from 11.0 percent to 5.6 percent of the population). But 640,000 uninsured Ohioans is too many. More than six in 10 uninsured adults in Ohio worked in 2016, and four in 10 worked full time.Roughly 15 percent of the uninsured in Ohio are children under 18 (most of whom are eligible for Medicaid, but not enrolled).
More can and should be done to ensure equal access to health care in the richest nation in the world. The public sector can, should, and already does compensate for deficiencies in our employer-based system of health care coverage.
To read the full report, click here