Employment doesn’t guarantee health insurance

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Health Insurance BenefitsA new U.S. Department of Labor-funded report has indicated that employer-sponsored health insurance is rapidly on the decline for millions of Americans.

According to the researchers from Iowa Policy Project, the nonprofit organization that released the report, employees are losing the jobs that provide health insurance through the employer, and are finding new employment through contract or that is part-time, which makes it much more challenging to find affordable coverage.

Co-author of the report, Noga O’Connor, said that it has become less common and more expensive to receive health insurance through providers, “leaving the economically weakest workers to fend for themselves.”

The Iowa Policy Project report says that workers that are “nonstandard” – that is, those that are freelance, contract, part-time, seasonal, or temporary – have a much lower likelihood than a standard full-time employee to obtain any health insurance.

O’Connor explained that the census doesn’t collect data that is specific to the figures for nonstandard workers, but the report made an estimate that approximately 40 percent of the 2009 American workforce was working in a form of employment that was not full-time or that did not offer health insurance.

To compare, in 2005, the estimate showed that about 27 percent of the American workforce was not in a full-time job or employment that provided health insurance.

O’Connor said that she thinks that the census would benefit from collecting more accurate data about the type of employment held by workers. She stated that it should be examined in greater detail because it is “a really big deal.”

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