Low-Income Workers Are Less Likely to Receive Employer-Funded Insurance

February 5, 2019, 6:03 PM UTC

Wealthier people are more likely to receive employer-sponsored insurance than low-wage workers.

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that just 28% of full-time workers below the federal poverty level received benefits from their employers, as low-income jobs are less likely to offer company subsidized benefits to workers.

“Employer health coverage is a part of compensation for workers, and low-wage workers just can’t command that level of compensation,” Larry Levitt, of Kaiser, told Axios.

With the costs of health care rising rapidly—and outpacing wages over the past decade—workers are also paying more out of pocket health care costs, Axios reports. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 51% of workers have to meet a deductible of more than $1,000 on their employer-based insurance, up from 34% in 2012. The increase signals a shift toward less coverage to meet the rising costs of health care.

Though half of Americans receive health insurance through their jobs, more than 30 million people remain uninsured.

Campaigns to nationalize health insurance have become more popular in recent years. Last fall, a Pew Research Center poll found that 60% of Americans believed that ensuring health care coverage is the responsibility of the federal government, including 31% of people who supported “single payer” insurance.