Small Business

How Many Americans Get Health Insurance from their Employer?

Updated on December 06, 2019


Ever wonder how many Americans have group health insurance? As a small business owner, this might be one of the questions on your mind if you are thinking about offering employer-sponsored health insurance to your employees and their dependents. As an employee of a small business, you may be interested in knowing whether or not it’s the norm to be offered health insurance from your employer.

You may be surprised to learn that group health insurance is more common than you may think. Continue reading to find out how many people have employer-sponsored health insurance coverage in the United States.

How many Americans get health insurance from their employer?

According to recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), about 156,199,800 Americans, or around 49 percent of the country’s total population, receive employer-sponsored health insurance (also called group health insurance).

Employer-sponsored health insurance coverage of the U.S. population by state percentage

Source: The Kaiser Family Foundation.

The KFF data about employer-sponsored health insurance statistics by state generally suggests that states in the Midwest and Northeast regions have among the highest percentage of people in the nation benefiting from group health insurance coverage.

Keep reading to get a closer look at some relevant facts and figures about group health insurance, including which states have the most people insured by their employers and the highest percentage of people receiving employer-sponsored health insurance.

Top 5 states with the most people covered by group health insurance

The five states with the greatest total number of people covered by employer-sponsored health insurance are:

  1. California – 18,253,400 people or 47 percent of the state population.
  2. Texas – 13,126,800 or 48 percent of the state population.
  3. New York – 9,536,300 or 49 percent of the state population.
  4. Florida – 8,155,800 or 40 percent of the state population.
  5. Illinois – 6,675,200 or 53 percent of the state population.

Source: KFF data.

Some of the largest and most economically robust states in the nation correspondingly have almost half or over half of their citizens benefiting from employer-sponsored health coverage.

Which states have the highest percentage of people covered by group health insurance?

The states with the greatest percentage of residents who have employer-sponsored health insurance coverage are:

  1. Utah – 60 percent of state residents.
  2. North Dakota – 58 percent of state residents.
  3. Minnesota/New Hampshire/Wisconsin – Tied at 57 percent for people in each of these three states.
  4. Maryland/New Jersey/Nebraska – Tied at 56 percent for people in each of these three states.
  5. Iowa/Massachusetts/Kansas – Tied at 55 percent for residents in each of these three states.

Source: KFF data.

Each of these states has more than half of its people covered by group health insurance.

Should small businesses offer group health insurance in their state?

Although offering small business health insurance is optional for small businesses with less than 50 full-time equivalent employees, there are several reasons you may consider providing group health insurance to your employees based on market and industry trends in your state or neighboring states.

  • Your small business could begin by looking at the percentage of people in your state who have employer-sponsored health insurance coverage.
  • Depending on the situation and competition, if a high percentage of similar businesses are offering group health insurance in your state, you may want to consider doing so too.
  • Employer-sponsored health insurance is highly prized among employees, and offering insurance coverage as a benefit may help you stand out as a desirable employer of choice.
  • If a relatively low percentage of businesses in your local area offer group health insurance, then providing employer-sponsored coverage to your workers may lend your company a competitive advantage by being better able to recruit and retain quality employees.

While the practices of competing and neighboring local or state businesses are only one of many important factors to take into account while considering employer-sponsored health insurance, they nevertheless may serve as a helpful starting point for your decision-making process.

Group health insurance across America in perspective

Around half of the nation’s population enjoys the benefit of employer-sponsored health insurance. Even though Americans have health coverage from a variety of different sources, group health insurance provided by their companies and businesses forms a major part of the country’s health care landscape.

If you are considering offering employer-sponsored health insurance to your employees, then you have come to the right place. eHealth can help you find small business health insurance that best fits the needs of your company. Visit or speak with one of our registered insurance agents today.

This article is for general information and may not be updated after publication. Consult your own tax, accounting, or legal advisor instead of relying on this article as tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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