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At Least 1 in 3 Injured Workers Not Covered by Employer-Based Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act requirement appears to be missing a population of workers it was meant to protect.

July 25, 2022

 A new study by LendingTree research site ValuePenguin reveals that employer-based health insurance is not always available to those who are at the highest risk of getting hurt while on the job.

According to the report, more than 440,000 workplace injuries happened to workers not covered by employer-based insurance—representing 1 in 3 victims. While 67.7% of employees were covered by employer-based insurance, workers who had to take time off due to a workplace injury were 7.8% less likely to be covered.

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes penalties on employers who don’t provide health insurance, it appears that the mandate still leaves some workers in higher-risk jobs uncovered. In fact, the ValuePenguin study found that Americans in jobs that have the highest rates of workplace injuries are less likely to have employer-based health insurance. Those working in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance, food preparation and service, and health care service industries are among those most impacted.  

Compounding the issue is the fact that many of the workers in these industries can’t afford their own health insurance. For example, 64% of the 25 occupations with the highest average annual fatality rate between 2017 and 2020 earned less than the national weekly median. In fact, workers in occupations with the most workplace fatalities earned an average of 7.9% less than the average American.

“This study shines a light on the reality that many Americans just don’t have access to employer-sponsored health insurance and are paying significantly more for a private health insurance plan,” said Divya Sangram, insurance spokesperson for LendingTree. “In many cases, they just can’t afford health insurance and are going without.”

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