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Health Care on Your Own

October 31st, 2007 by flanews

A new study coming out Thursday shows sobering numbers when it comes to Floridians without health insurance.  Currently, 1 out of 5 people in the state have no insurance.  And the state ranks 46th out of 50 in the percentage of workers that have insurance paid by their employer.  As Chris Casquejo tells us, small businesses are faced with the difficult choice of insuring their workers or going out of business.

Hear it here: Health Care on Your Own

The lunch hour at Looper’s Sub Shop brings a big rush.  Owner Ralph Ricardo has 10 workers.
But he can’t give them health insurance, or he’d go out of business.

“Even if I was to pay for half of it and the employees paid for half of it, they would lose their salary because they get paid so low here,” Ricardo said.  “Working in a sub shop, they wouldn’t be able to afford it.  I can’t afford it.”

For workers like Justin Pizza, no health insurance means living on the edge every day.

“I definitely have to be more careful.  I have to weigh out how sick I am versus how much money I have if I have to go get treated for it,” he said.

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration is looking at ways to help small businesses like this one find affordable health care for workers.

Drawing mainly from college students, Clayt Thompson does not have any problems filling his job openings at his packaging store.

“College students need flexibility more than they need the insurance programs because their parents have that,” Thompson said.

But for sub shop owner Ralph Ricardo, having no health insurance for workers comes at a price.

“I lose employees probably every 3 or 4 months.  High turnover,” he said.

So until he finds affordable health care, he’ll always be looking for new workers.

Florida International University’s Research Institute for Social and Economic Policy will release the full study on Thursday.

Posted in Health, Insurance, State News | 2 Comments »

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