Poll: Fewer Americans than ever insured through their employers

The number of Americans who get health insurance through their employer hit a new low in the third quarter of this year, according to a new poll from Gallup and Healthways.

The poll of 90,070 adults in all 50 states found that 44.5 percent of Americans had employer-sponsored coverage, a drop of more than three percentage points since 2008. More than one in six — 17.3 percent — were uninsured, a statistical tie with last quarter's record number.

The poll confirms that fewer young adults are uninsured thanks to the new federal requirement that health plans cover young adults through age 25 on their parents' plans (24.2 percent in the second quarter, down from 28.4 percent before the law was passed). The number of uninsured 25- to 64-year-olds, however, continues to increase despite the health law's high-risk insurance pools and its tax credits to help small businesses cover their workers.

"None of the other components of the health law that have already been implemented … appear to be affecting coverage for older adults," the survey found.

The number of Americans covered by the government — through Medicare, Medicaid and other programs — declined slightly, to 25.1 percent, since peaking last year, but remains far higher than the pre-recession figure of about 22 percent.