New Study on Insuring Direct-Care Workers

The Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) released a report, prepared in collaboration with Tufts University Department of Health and Family Medicine, on the impact of Massachusetts health care reform on direct-care workers.

The report offers three main conclusions:

  1. The employer-based health insurance system is not meeting the needs of employers or their direct-care staff, largely because the current price of private health insurance in Massachusetts is prohibitive for many employers and their workers.
  2. As a result, public and publicly subsidized insurance programs are essential to this sector.
  3. Reform measures appear to have strengthened subsidized options for both employers and direct-care staff. However, access to these options is far from seamless, sometimes leading to “perverse” employment outcomes. For example, to qualify for MassHealth or Commonwealth Care workers often reduce their hours worked. Similarly, employers may limit eligibility for health benefits to those who work full-time, but then offer employees only part-time hours. These disincentives to work are particularly problematic for the home care industry, which is one of the Commonwealth’s fastest-growing employment sectors.

For more information, read the PHI report here.

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