Group health insurance in Dallas is apparently a godsend to an increasing number of agricultural workers across the nation, many of whom are receiving better medical care and avoiding trips to the emergency room. The latest news is the result of a study from the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics at the University of California, which looked at 2,265 adult farmworkers over a six-year period between 2010 and 2016. Roughly a quarter of them had preexisting conditions that would have made it difficult to afford coverage before healthcare reform. These are workers who are more susceptible to injuries and illness because of their jobs, which can include everything from farm work to operating heavy machinery and coming into contact with pesticides and other dangerous chemicals.
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Despite their jobs being extremely necessary to the United States economy, agricultural workers are largely low-income, largely immigrant workforces. They traditionally struggle to receive preventative care because they work for numerous employers — many of which do not provide health benefits. In a recent article by Medical Express, Kwabena B. Donkor, an assistant professor of marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business, said, “By the time they get to a physician, whatever health problems they’re dealing with are often far along,” Farmworkers who didn’t seek treatment until their symptoms were too severe to ignore often checked into emergency rooms, which are required under federal law to treat anyone, even if they are uninsured. This group of workers can include those with Dallas group health insurance. Donkor’s goal was to find out what impact — good, bad, or indifferent — the ACA has had on this underserved group. As it turns out, more of these farmworkers have medical insurance now.
Rick Thornton, a Dallas group health insurance agent, said this is a major success for the ACA, which was designed to bring affordable healthcare options to millions of Americans who were previously uninsured or underinsured. According to Medical Express, the farmworkers who were eligible for Medicaid were around 11% less likely to be uninsured than ineligible workers, and those eligible to buy ACA were 5.5% less likely to lack insurance.
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