Employers' share of insured Americans remains stable, analysis shows

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Employer-based insurance plans covered the same percentage of Americans in 2007 as they did in 2006, according to a new analysis.

Researchers found that 62.2% of the non-elderly population carried healthcare coverage through an employer. Their study results were released Tuesday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The share of the non-elderly with healthcare insurance actually rose a bit to 82.8% last year, a gain that could be threatened by higher unemployment rates this year, EBRI said.

Businesses often continue to offer coverage to gain a competitive advantage in recruiting new workers, said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI's health research and education program. He said the level of those covered by employer-sponsored insurance remained "remarkably stable, considering what has happened with the cost of providing health benefits and the fact that fewer small employers offer coverage." Full study results can be found at www.ebri.org.