A Census Bureau press release out today reports:
The rate of employment-based health insurance coverage declined from 64.4 percent in 1997 to 56.5 percent in 2010, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report, Employment-Based Health Insurance: 2010. Among employed individuals, employment-based coverage declined from 76.0 percent in 1997 to 70.2 percent in 2010. ...A higher proportion of unemployed individuals were uninsured in 2010 (46.2 percent) than in 2005 (39.8 percent) and 2002 (43.1 percent).
A break in the linkage between employment and health insurance isn't necessarily a bad thing; the linkage is a vestige of World War II-era wage controls, perpetuated by the tax code. But if the outcome is a decline in health insurance coverage, that's probably not such a great outcome. Part of what is happening is probably that employers are cutting back coverage and hours in anticipation of the ObamaCare exchanges set to launch later this year that are supposed to make it easier for individuals to purchase coverage on their own for 2014.