Employer-sponsored insurance coverage for alcoholism and drug-abuse treatments. uri icon


  • This article examines the growth in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage for alcoholism and drug-abuse treatments. Data are drawn from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employee Benefit Surveys of 1981, 1983 and 1985. The surveys provide information on approximately 20.5 million full-time permanent employees in 43,000 establishments each year. The data are nationally representative. In 1985, 68.5% of employees with medical insurance had coverage for alcoholism treatments and 61.6% had coverage for drug-abuse treatments. Alcoholism coverage increased 89% from 1981 to 1985. The increases were reflected across all regions, firm sizes and occupational groups. Self-insured firms, exempt from mandated coverage laws, had the greatest increase in coverage. HMOs appear to have reduced coverage since 1981. Finally, substance abuse coverages did not appear to be discretionary and, therefore, were unlikely to be eliminated if tax laws on fringe benefits were changed.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Morrisey, M. A., & Jensen, G. A.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Morrisey, MA||Jensen, GA