Percent of private-sector employees enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans
The rising cost of health insurance in the U.S. has made it increasingly difficult for many individuals and families to afford coverage alongside other routine expenses such as home mortgages, automobile loans, and student debt repayment. Amid growing concerns over the financial strain of health care affordability, high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) have become a popular type of private health insurance coverage. HDHPs, which require lower monthly premiums and a higher deductible, are designed to reduce unnecessary health care spending and encourage individuals to actively manage their own health care costs. Given the recent spike in HDHP popularity, it is important to track HDHP enrollment data to determine which populations are more likely to have this type of health coverage and assess long-term HDHP enrollment trends.
State Health Compare provides annual, state-level rates of HDHP enrollment based on findings from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component (MEPS-IC). Estimates are available beginning in 2012 and can be broken down by firm size (e.g., fewer than 50 employees, greater than 50 employees).
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This report provides an overview of the 2021 MEPS-IC private-sector ESI estimates, and considers how trends in ESI coverage and cost have evolved over the past three years, since the pre-pandemic baseline (2019), since the first year of the pandemic (2020), and in 2021.
Data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Insurance Component (MEPS-IC) show employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) remains the largest single source of coverage for most Americans, with 62.2 million private-sector workers enrolled in ESI in 2021. SHADAC’s analysis of 2021 MEPS-IC ESI data provides an overview of employee access to coverage and the costs associated with coverage plans.