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Dear David

Dear David

Uncovered

November 14, 2013

My employer doesn’t offer any health coverage. Is there anything I can do to get the company to start doing so?

— Hoping for Health Insurance, Maryland

A.

Going without health insurance is nerve-wracking, whether or not you have an existing health problem. If you have a job, it’s reasonable to think that means you would have a chance to get a health plan as one benefit. Too many of us, though, are on our own.

Fortunately, the new health care law is going to make it easier to get covered, whether or not your job provides insurance:

  • If your employer doesn’t offer health insurance, you’re likely eligible to purchase coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Depending on your family size and household income, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance to help pay for the cost of monthly premiums, as well as copays and deductibles.  
  • Working America, in partnership with Union Plus, is helping workers connect with quality health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and we’re offering additional exclusive health-related member benefits to workers who enroll through our recommended channels—at no cost to them. To find out more, please visit www.workingamericahealthcare.org.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, an employer mandate goes into effect. This means that large employers who refuse to offer affordable coverage to their employees will be required to pay an annual per-employee penalty. That makes it more likely that companies will offer insurance. In addition, the law gives financial assistance to small businesses to help them provide coverage.
  • Of course, it’s important to note that the classic remedy—organizing for better wages and benefits—remains available. You can always try to talk to your co-workers about the need for good health insurance as a benefit, and then, as a group, bring that demand to your boss.