Blue-collar workers saw biggest insurance gains under ACA, study finds

Morgan Haefner -

Americans who work in blue-collar industries like service jobs, farming, construction and transportation saw the largest health insurance gains under the ACA, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

For the study, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, both in Boston, examined 2010-17 data from the American Community Survey, which is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The study authors found after the ACA's 2014 coverage expansions, service workers saw uninsured rates drop 14 percentage points from 2010-17. In comparison, managers and professional managers saw a 3-percentage-point decrease during the same period.

"In conclusion, the ACA was associated with significant gains in coverage among all occupation groups, but the greatest gains were among nonmanagers and nonprofessionals," the researchers said. "Policies that reduce Medicaid enrollment or disrupt the ACA's health insurance marketplaces are likely to cause particular harm to people in the workforce who do not have ready access to employer-sponsored insurance — primarily blue-collar workers."

Read the full study here.

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