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Health Insurance Glossary

Definitions for common health insurance terms

employer-sponsored health plans

DEFINITION: Employer-sponsored health plans currently provide some level of health coverage for approximately 160 million Americans. Employer-sponsored health plans are more likely to be provided by larger companies; in fact, an estimated 99 percent of companies with 200 or more workers offer health benefits, according to testimony in Congress. However, the plans face rapidly escalating premiums – up 119 percent since 1998 – and even at larger firms, up to 21 percent of workers may not be eligible for coverge, even it it’s offered. Health reform legislation proposals in Congress may include an employer mandate, designed to increase participation by employers and by more of their employees.