Wednesday, March 28, 2018

26% of Low-Income Full-time Workers Are Uninsured

Many low-income workers with full-time jobs are uninsured, according to a study by Jessica A Carson of the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy. The study defines low-income workers as those with household incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level—or an income below about $25,000 for a single person and below about $49,000 for a family with two adults and two children.

Among low-income full-time year-round workers aged 25 to 64, a substantial 26 percent were not covered by health insurance at any time in 2016 versus only 8 percent of their counterparts with higher incomes. Just 33 percent of the low-income workers were covered by their employer's health insurance plan versus the 57 percent majority of those with higher incomes.

When low-income workers were asked why they did not have health insurance through their employer, the largest share—40 percent—said their employer does not offer health insurance. Among higher-income workers, only 18 percent work for an employer who does not offer insurance. Other reasons given by low-income workers for not signing for employer-provided health insurance were cost and ineligibility—they worked too few hours, they were a temporary or contract employee, or they hadn't been on the job long enough.

"As changes to health insurance policy continue to evolve," the report concludes, "it is critical to keep in mind that full-time employment isn't necessarily a ticket to health insurance, and that access to employer-based health insurance is stratified by income and industry."

Source: University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy, Full-Time Employment Not Always a Ticket to Health Insurance

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