The Economic Costs of the Uninsured

Recent Evidence on Pension Coverage and Sponsorship, by Employer Size and Industry

August 2000, Vol. 21, No. 8
Paperback, 16 pp.
PDF, 77 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2000

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Executive Summary

The Economic Costs of the Uninsured—Should employers be concerned about the uninsured population? Are there adverse consequences to driving employers out of the health care delivery system? Is there a link between health insurance and the health of the population, productivity, and economic output? What are the private and public sectors doing to increase access to health insurance coverage?

Policymakers, leading thinkers on benefits, employers, and labor representatives examined these questions during the May 3,
2000, policy forum on "The Economic Costs of the Uninsured," sponsored by Employee Benefit Research Institute Education and Research Fund (EBRI-ERF). Attended by about a hundred invited experts, the policy forum examined the research that has been done connecting health insurance status to the performance of the economy, and the implications for consumers, business, and government. While this is hard to quantify, economic research is beginning to show there may be real business costs connected to the uninsured.

Recent Evidence on Pension Coverage and Sponsorship, by Employer Size and Industry—According
to an Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) analysis of the 1998 data recently released by the Federal Reserve Board, 56.8
percent of families with a worker and a family head under age 65 were covered in a pension plan through a current job of
either the family head or the spouse or partner of that person. Whether this level of coverage is sufficient has been subject to
public policy debate for years; however, one issue on which there appears to be near-universal agreement is the need for
increased sponsorship among small employers.