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[IWS] EBRI: TRENDS IN HEALTH COVERAGE FOR PART-TIME WORKERS, 1999-2012 [22 May 2014]
IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau
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Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)
EBRI NOTES, vol. 35, no. 5
TRENDS IN HEALTH COVERAGE FOR PART-TIME WORKERS, 1999-2012 [22 May 2014]
[full-text, 10 pages]
Press Release 22 May 2014
Trends in Health Coverage for Part-time Workers
EBRI’s new analysis shows that the recent recession had already resulted in an increased use of part-time
workers before PPACA was enacted: Between 2006 and 2010, the percentage of workers employed fewer
than 30 hours per week increased from 11.9 percent to 14.1 percent, and the percentage of workers
employed 30–39 hours per week increased from 11.4 percent to 13.2 percent. This may be due to the drop
in the unemployment rate, which fell from 9.9 percent in March 2010 (the month PPACA was signed into
law by President Obama) to 7.9 percent by the end of 2012. Since the end of 2012, the unemployment rate
has fallen to 6.6 percent, the report notes.
“Since the enactment of PPACA, the percentage of workers employed less than 40 hours per week has
actually declined slightly,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Education and Research
Program and author of the study. “At the same time, while both full-time and part-time workers have
experienced drops in coverage, part-time workers have been affected disproportionately.”
As the report notes, part-time workers have a far lower rate of health coverage than full-time workers.
Overall, there were 20 million workers employed under 30 hours per week and 18.8 million employed
30–39 hours per week in 2012. Among those employed fewer than 30 hours per week, 2.6 million
(12.8 percent) had employment-based coverage from their own job, and among those employed between
30–39 hours per week, 6.3 million (33.6 percent) had employment-based coverage from their own job.
In contrast, 60.5 percent of workers employed at least 40 hours per week had employment-based coverage
from their own job.
A key related issue is dependent health coverage for children or spouses of part-time workers, which has
been sharply declining. As the EBRI analysis points out, the likelihood that a worker employed fewer
than 30 hours per week had employment-based coverage as a dependent fell substantially between 2000
and 2009: In 2009, 35 percent of these workers had dependent coverage, down from 46.8 percent in 2000.
During this time, the percentage of workers employed 30–39 hours with coverage as a dependent fell
from 26 percent to 20.5 percent, while the percentage of workers employed 40 or more hours per week
with coverage as a dependent was mostly constant except for a slight drop from 2003 to 2004.
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