By Phillip Spence

Scott Sawyer, General Manger of Ham's Restaurant of Greenville, is one of the many Americans who benefit from low cost health insurance through employment.
It is popular but under threat.

New York Times: declining employer health insurance
Kansas City Star: scope of employer plans shrinking
Ham's Greenville Brewhouse
Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina

Health Insurance in the United States has strong ties to employment.

Recent statistics show that just under two-thirds of Americans under the age of 65 obtain their health insurance through their job. Is this a bad thing or a good thing?

Scott Sawyer, General Manger of Ham's Restaurant of Greenville, is one of the 75 percent of Americans who obtain their health insurance through employment. Sawyer has good reason to believe that health insurance through employment will continue to be a popular trend for years to come.

This is so even though the Census Bureau reports a total of 43.6 million people, or 15.2 percent of population, lack health insurance following largest increase in decade last year.

This figure remains lower than recent peak of 16.3 percent in 1998; continued erosion of employer-sponsored coverage is main reason for latest increase; proportion of Americans with insurance from employers declines to 61.3 percent from 62.6 percent in 2001 and 63.6 percent in 2000, according to a September 30th article in
The New York Times.


Many persons in their early thirties
don't feel that health insurance is the most important benefit of their job. Mr. Sawyer begs to differ with many such people who decline their health insurance through their job.

At 31,
Sawyer has used his health insurance offered through his job at Ham's Restaurant three times. Health issues can rise at anytime in ones' life.

Why not be insured? Most jobs take minimal amounts of money out of employee paychecks to provide health insurance.

And, like Sawyer, you may be in need sooner than you think.

At 27, he had his first cancerous spot on his back removed.

Getting cancerous spots removed is not a cheap visit to the doctor.

Through Ham's Sawyer only had to pay 20 percent of the cost of the
operation. One thousand dollars is the limit which an employee pays. If 20 percent is more than 1000 dollars, Ham's takes over the remaining cost.

Coverage through Ham's is far cheaper than through non-employer related
Blue Cross Blue Shield. The only reason that experts give for employees taking Blue Cross Blue Shield over health insurance with their job is that Blue Cross offers a bigger cap. Unless you know you are going to be really sick in the future, the most efficient health insurance is probably through your job if it is offered.

Sawyer started with Ham's in 1998. After being with Ham's for five
years Sawyer has saved 6,000 dollars by taking health insurance through his job. He has had three operations, and has gotten time off of work after the operations took place.

Is employer supported health insurance the way to go?

You make the choice!



Phillip Spence is a senior and a major in political science, with a minor in communications. He enjoys writing about politics and sports. After graduating, he plans to move to a "big city" to broaden his horizons. He is from Kinston, North Carolina and came to East Carolina University to continue a family tradition.

 Copyright ©2004 Phillip Spence
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