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Millions Lose Employer-Based Health Insurance

By Kelley Weiss


Kansas City, MO – A national study shows a steady decline in the number of people who get their health insurance through their employers. This is having an impact on Missouri adults and their children's access to health care. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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The Economic Policy Institute, or EPI, study reports that from 2000 to 2006 almost four million people around the country lost employer-based health insurance coverage.

Jared Bernstein, EPI senior economist, says it's a trend that more businesses are cutting back on providing health benefits for employees. He says Missouri had one of the biggest declines in kids getting coverage through their parents' work policy.

Jared Bernstein: "In the nation on the average the decline in employer provided coverage for kids is about 5 percentage points and it's twice that in Missouri."

Bernstein says the study shows that a wide range of workers - part-time, full-time, employees with college degrees and in high income brackets - saw a decline in coverage. And, he says while people are losing private health insurance many also do not have access to public health programs.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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