Majority of full-time workers had access to employer-provided medical care

Employer-provided medical care was available to 88 percent of full-time private industry workers in the United States in March 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). By contrast, only 22 percent of part-time workers had medical care benefits available. Access, or availability, also varied by establishment size, noted the BLS: 58 percent for workers in small establishments (those with fewer than 100 employees), compared with 85 percent in medium and large establishments (those with 100 employees or more). These are among the findings of the report, Employee Benefits in the United States—March 2015.

Retirement benefits followed a similar pattern as medical care benefits, the report found. In the private industry, 76 percent of full-time workers had access to a retirement plan, significantly higher than 37 percent of part-time workers. Retirement benefits were available to 51 percent of workers in small establishments, and 84 percent of workers in medium and large establishments. The BLS defines a worker with access to a medical or retirement plan as one having an employer-provided plan available for use, regardless of the decision to enroll or participate in the plan.

Paid sick leave benefits also were more commonly offered to full-time workers and those in medium and large establishments in private industry. Sick leave plans were offered to 74 percent of full-time workers and 24 percent of part-time workers. Similarly, 52 percent of workers in small establishments and 72 percent in medium and large establishments had access to a paid sick leave benefit.

The survey also found the following:

• Full-time workers in state and local government had high rates of access to major benefits: 99 percent had access to retirement and medical care benefits, and 98 percent to paid sick leave. For part-time workers, 39 percent had access to retirement benefits, 24 percent to medical care benefits, and 42 percent to paid sick leave.

• Paid holidays were provided to 90 percent of full-time and 37 percent of part-time workers in private industry. In state and local government, 74 percent of full-time workers and 30 percent of part-time workers had access.

• Access to benefits differed among some occupational groups. For private industry, 87 percent of workers in management, professional, and related occupations had access to medical care, compared with 41 percent in service occupations. In state and local government, the corresponding figures were 89 percent and 82 percent, respectively.

• Access to medical care benefits for private industry workers was 86 percent in goods producing industries, compared with 66 percent for workers in service-providing industries. The employee share of family medical premiums was 27 percent for workers in goods-producing industries and 33 percent for workers in service-providing industries.

SOURCE: BLS, Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2015, July 24, 2015.

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