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-19 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-19, 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-19, 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-19 complications to decide if they should stay home or risk their health and wellness so they can still get health care.