Most of us with health insurance typically have it from our place of employement. A study in a recent GALLUP article, reports just 45% of Americans have health care coverage from their employers – and that number is showing a steady decline. While the study reported all groups are losing their job-based coverage, African Americans between the ages of 27 and 35 with incomes between $36,000 and $89,000 showed the largest decrease. The group least likely to have employer-based health insurance were young adults 18-26.
The report cites unemployment and underemployment as the major cause of the decline. And the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed last year and which would extend coverage to all citizens through a combination of subsidies and group marketplaces, will not be fully implemented until 2014.
What can we do until then to keep our health coverage?
1) The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) may be able to help you and your family continue to receive your health care coverage. If you were laid off, quit your job (or retired), or if your hours were reduced, you may qualify.
2) Contact Healthcare.gov, a free online portal that connects you to a information on health care coverage options. Coverage for All or the National Association of Health Underwriters may also be able to help you by finding the lowest coverage available withinyour budget.
3) This Protecting Your Health Insurance Coverage booklet explains your health care rights and resources.
Job-Based Insurance Declines for Moderate- and Low-Income Workers - UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Declining Job-Based Health Coverage in the United States and California: A Crisis for Working Families – Working Families USA