Unemployment and an erosion in employer-provided benefits are some of the major reasons the amount of uninsured American rose to 49.9 million last year. That’s 900,000 more than in 2009, according to Census data. Gone are the days that it was a given that your workplace handed you an insurance plan. In 2000, 64.1 percent of the population were covered by employer-provided insurance, but those ranks slipped to 55.3 percent last year.
CNNMoney reports the cost of health insurance premiums has risen so fast in the past 10 years — doubling to $13,770 a year — that some employees are voluntarily giving up insurance because they can’t afford it. Businesses have understandably passed the rising costs on to employees.
The government has stepped in to fill part of the void, now insuring 31 percent of Americans, up 6.8 percent from 1999.