Workers Who Give Care To The Homebound Often Can’t Afford To Get Their OwnApril 4, 2017
KHN Kaiser Health News |
For more than two decades, Celeste Thompson, 57, a home care worker in Missoula, Mont., had not had regular contact with a doctor — no annual physicals and limited sick visits. She also needed new glasses.
Like many others who work in the lower rungs of the health care system, she has worked hard to keep her clients healthy by feeding them, dressing them and helping them navigate chronic conditions.
But because of the low wages and the hourly structure of this industry — which analysts estimate is worth nearly $100 billion annually and projected to grow rapidly — workers like Thompson often don’t have health insurance. Many home health agencies, 80 percent of which are for-profit, don’t offer coverage, or their employees don’t consistently clock enough hours to be eligible. They generally earn too much to qualify for public aid but too little to afford the cost of premiums. Read more