Poster Paper: Employment Status and Instability of Health Protection for Low-Income Workers: The Relationship with Medicaid and Healthcare Accessibility

Saturday, November 9, 2019
Plaza Building: Concourse Level, Plaza Exhibits (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

HyunSoo Kwon, University of California, Berkeley

Background & Research Questions: Occupational strata in the labor market reflect poor work conditions and health issues of low-income workers. The workers in the particular industries are frequently exposed to injuries in the workplace. Furthermore, the low-income workers are vulnerable to changes in the employment status according to economic conditions and labor market structures. Consequently, their employment status and characteristics of work affect health protection by variations in the eligibility for Medicaid as well as opportunities for employer-based health coverage, involving medical expenses and healthcare utilization. This study examines the relationship among changes in the employment status, medical expenses, and healthcare utilization, particularly for low-income workers. It also investigates the role of Medicaid in relation to the expenses for medical care and utilization of healthcare services.

Methods: To investigate the research inquiries, this study utilizes a secondary public data set collected by the U.S. Census Bureau with medical expenditure data. For this study, advanced quantitative methods are used, including generalized linear model, moderation and mediation analysis. Additional analytical models can be applied for the comparison of the outcomes by different models.

Significance & Implications: It is important to understand the way changes in the employment status and employment trajectories are associated with accessibility to healthcare, for those who have potential limitation of health protection in particular. This study implies instability of health protection for low-income workers, particularly those with work-related risks in the workplace. It also suggests disparity in the health protection from the perspective of industry and occupational strata as well as particular demographic characteristics.