Ohio’s low-wage employers provide health benefits to less than 1 in 5 of their employees
Posted August 02, 2018 in Press Releases
Because of problems with America’s employment-based approach to health insurance, 640,000 Ohioans were uninsured in 2016. More than 60% of them were employed, but without employer-supported coverage. Four in 10 uninsured adults in Ohio worked full time.
Employers limit eligibility by restricting employees to part-time or temporary status and implementing waiting periods for coverage. They reduce enrollment for eligible workers with exorbitant cost-sharing policies that amount to as much as 25 percent of a low-wage worker’s pre-tax income, making health care coverage for low-income families out of reach. And they don’t cover employees who have retired or Ohioans who don’t work.
As part of an ongoing series of reports on Ohio’s health insurance landscape, Policy Matters Ohio senior researcher Amanda Woodrum identified these practices and examined their effects on Ohioans’ access to health coverage. She found low-wage employers especially inadequate in their support of employee health, offering health benefits to less than one-third of their 1.2 million employees in the state.
“More can and should be done to ensure equal access to health care in the richest nation in the world,” said Woodrum. “Given downward trends in employer-supported health care, the public sector can, should and does help pick up the slack.”
Woodrum found that 4.6 million Ohioans not able to get employer-sponsored care receive care through Medicare, Medicaid, or the publicly-subsidized health insurance marketplace, which are provided by the public sector.