Families USA report: Working Nebraskans being left without coverage

***For Immediate Release***

December 1, 2014NE_Appleseed_Icons_Medicaid-128

Contact, Jeff Sheldon
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853
Mobile: (402) 840-7289

New report shows vast majority of Nebraskans in Coverage Gap are working

Nearly three-quarters of those unable to get health coverage have held jobs in past year

LINCOLN — A new report released today by Families USA, the national organization for health care consumers, shows that nearly three-quarters of Nebraskans who currently fall in the health insurance coverage gap are working adults.

The report, titled “Closing the Coverage Gap in Nebraska: Health Insurance for Working Individuals and Families,” found 73 percent of Nebraskans who would be eligible for Medicaid coverage if the state chose to cover the eligible population are working currently or have held jobs in the past year.

Of those not employed, more than half are considered “not in the work force,” meaning they may be people with disabilities, students, and non-working spouses.

“Today’s report shows a vast majority of Nebraskans who we have left in the coverage gap are working people who contribute to their families and our communities,” said Nebraska Appleseed Health Care Director James Goddard. “These are people who make too little money to afford private health coverage, but make too much to qualify currently for Medicaid in our state. When families have access to health care they are healthier, which helps ensure they can go to work and contribute to our state and economy.”

The report found large percentages of the working adults who fall in the coverage gap work jobs that are vitally important to Nebraska’s economy. Among the findings were:

  • Approximately 11,000 uninsured people work preparing and serving our food.
  • Approximately 6,000 work in the construction industry.
  • Approximately 6,000 work in sales jobs.
  • Approximately 6,000 work in cleaning and maintenance.

“Closing Nebraska’s coverage gap is a sound investment for the state,” said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA. “Making sure the health care system makes sense for everyone means a healthier workforce with a stronger state economy and a better quality of life in Nebraska.”

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