Illuminating new research by insurance platform ValuePenguin found that one-third of workers who suffer workplace injuries do not have employer-based health insurance. The study, drawn from an analysis of employer coverage “in the industries with the highest rate of workplace injuries,” also found that the workers most likely to experience workplace injuries are “paid less on average than typical Americans.” It used data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Census Bureau.
The study’s chief finding is that workers “in occupations with higher rates of workplace injuries are generally less likely to have employer-based health insurance.” Specifically, it found that while 33.4 of every 1,000 “farming, fishing, and forestry” workers suffer injuries that prevented them from working, only 36.7 of workers in the industry have employer-based health insurance. In the healthcare support field, the injury rate per 1,000 employees is 26 while the share of employees with employer-based coverage is 54.9%. In transportation and material moving, those figures are 16.9/1000 and 57.4%, respectively. On the other side of the spectrum, 0.3 of every 1,000 workers in the “computer and mathematical injury” suffer workplace injuries, while 88.2 have employer health coverage.
Another key finding is that more than one in three workplace injuries affect workers without employer health coverage, a sum totaling at least 440,000 injuries. Meanwhile, workers in the industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths “earned on average 7.9% less” than other workers. The ten states with the highest share of workers in the most dangerous occupations were Wyoming (5.8%, Arkansas (5.7%), California (5.6%), Idaho (5.6%), Nebraska (5.4%), Iowa (5.2%), North Dakota (5.0%), Mississippi (4.6%), Montana (4.6%), and Oregon (4.6%).
“Employer-sponsored health insurance is supposed to offer access to affordable health care to Americans of all social and economic classes, even those with a modest income,” said a ValuePenguin insurance expert in a statement about the study. “However, the reality for many Americans is that they really don’t earn enough money to afford health insurance — even heavily subsidized insurance from their employer.” The expert advised workers with employer-sponsored coverage to evaluate their plans to determine whether a better option might be available, and to consider whether private health insurance is a viable alternative. The expert also advised workers who suffer injuries to see if they qualify for Medicaid or Social Security Disability Insurance.
More information on the research suggesting that one in three victims of workplace injuries don’t have employer-provided health coverage is available via ValuePenguin.