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May 2003     Vol. 4, no. 5

Health-related insurance for the self-employed

Ernest B. Akyeampong and Deborah Sussman

  • Unlike employees, the self-employed cannot benefit from employer-sponsored extended health, dental or disability insurance plans. Not surprisingly then, only 17% of the self-employed had all three types of coverage in 2000, compared with 50% of employees.
  • About half of the self-employed with health or dental coverage acquired it through the employer-sponsored plan of a spouse or close relative; another quarter through direct purchase, using their own financial resources.
  • Approximately 4 in 10 self-employed workers had no coverage in any plan in 2000.
  • Lack of money was cited by approximately 40% of the self-employed as the major reason for non-coverage in each type of insurance. Coverage in all plans was much higher for those with high earnings ($60,000 or more).


The authors are with the Labour and Household Surveys Analysis Division. Ernest B. Akyeampong can be reached at 951-4624 or Deborah Sussman is currently on leave.

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