The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ William J. Wiatrowski reports on a decline in workers receiving employer-provided medical benefits over the past decade. Some of this reflects employee choice.

In 1992-93, roughly 3 out of 4 private industry workers were offered medical care and 63 percent participated; in 2003, 60 percent were offered a plan and 45 percent participated. This amounts to a decline in the takeup rate from about 85 percent to 75 percent.

I refer to this phenomenon as Disintermediation.

Thanks to Steve Verdon for the pointer.

For Discussion. What are the factors that might explain the trend toward fewer workers opting into corporate health plans?