Consider being the manager of a restaurant. Your workplace reopens, which is important because things have been financially tight the past few months. But, you have a child with a heart condition that leaves them immunocompromised. The littlest illness could put them in the hospital for days or even weeks, let along what a diagnosis of Covid would do for them. You don’t want to go back to a job where you can’t be certain you won’t come home with Covid, but your family needs the health insurance provided by your employer. What do you do?
For many, this is reality. The employer-based health system in the US crafts a situation where individuals must choose between their health or their financial security. A quarter of American workers are at high risk for COVID, with a number of them experiencing heart disease issues. Because of inequities in health care, many people also experience financial difficulties – particularly in communities of color. With 61% of all working age adults receiving health care through the workplace, it’s all the more difficult for people with higher risk for COVID complications to decide if they should stay home or risk their health and wellness so they can still get health care.