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Fewer NJ Workers Receive Employer Health Insurance [POLL/AUDIO]

A new report finds fewer New Jersey residents are getting health insurance through their employers.

Tim Boyle, Getty Images

“In New Jersey, 78 percent of workers got health insurance through their employer in 2000, but over the past decade that percentage has dropped to 66 percent,” says Kathy Hempstead, Senior Program Officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

She points out approximately 660,000 fewer people in New Jersey had health insurance through their job in 2011, as compared with 2000.

“The main underlying reason is an affordability problem. The health care costs have risen dramatically over the past decade, so we see fewer employers are able to offer this benefit, and when they do, fewer workers actually take the benefit up.”

Hempstead adds when workers are offered insurance now, about 75 percent of them accept it, but that’s down about six percentage points from a decade ago.

What Happens Next?

She says the trend may begin to change next year because one of the things that is happening that would provide a potential alternative to the situation is the Affordable Care Act and the creation of the state insurance exchanges.

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