Job-Based Coverage Rare for 'Nonstandard' Workers

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<p>"Nonstandard" workers--those employed on a part-time, temporary, or contractual basis--are far more likely than regular, full-time employees to lack health care coverage, experience gaps in their coverage, or depend on their spouse's employer coverage or public insurance programs, a new Commonwealth Fund report finds. According to <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=19723&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D324095%26%23doc324095">On the Fringe: The Substandard Benefits of Workers in Part-Time, Temporary and Contract Jobs,</a> just one of five of the estimated 34 million nonstandard workers in the U.S. has health insurance through his or her employer, compared with three-quarters of regular, full-time employees.<br><br>The report, written by Elaine Ditsler, Peter Fisher, and Colin Gordon of the Iowa Policy Project, also finds that 24 percent of nonstandard workers are uninsured, compared with 12 percent of other workers.<br><br>To improve coverage for nonstandard workers, the authors say consideration should be given to "play or pay" laws that require employers to either provide health coverage or pay into public health insurance programs, with provisions for non-standard workers. They also suggest policies granting uninsured workers access to group insurance pools and the provision of income-based tax credits, coupled with access to group insurance pools, to enhance the affordability of coverage.</p>