Sixteenth-century Italian physician Bernardini Ramazzini is the creator of the first written account of the health problems on workers. He put down the proposal of the possibilities of taking preventive measures to improve employee well-being. This phenomenon is known as the “occupational diseases.” Half a century after Ramazzini’s death, the Industrial Revolution came with many occupational diseases and injuries. This was because of the way there was reformulation and systemization of work. This was the time when the concept of employer health insurance was alien to the entire world.

Until the advent of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) in the 1950s, workplace wellness was generally an afterthought for organizations. By the ‘90s, companies started offering wellness interventions whose primary focus was alcoholism and mental health issues. It was in the form of cash or cheaper insurance premiums.

But, times have changed and the 2017 ‘repeal and replace’ means most Americans could lose their insurance coverage if the bill passes. Under the proposed American Health Care Act, discrimination against people with a pre-existing health condition is unacceptable.

When employer health insurance isn’t helpful at the right time

The story you’re about to read is a stereotypical one: Twenty-seven-year-old Julianne Stone had an early-stage melanoma in 2015, through early diagnosis, a simple surgery was enough to remove it. It was about a month from diagnosis to its removal and having clean pathology results. But that month means that she has a pre-existing condition. Julianne Stone has employer health insurance now, but knowing that she is going to lose all benefits from the ACA, and losing her job, she may have a problem.

Employers with more than 50 employees no longer have to provide insurance. So covering through a husband’s work may no longer with provide. Moreover, the new bill will incentivize all Americans to have continuous coverage, which will further prevent people from only buying insurance when after they are sick.

Under the new bill, having a lapse in the coverage greater than 63 means they would face a penalty equal to 30 percent of premiums. However, the penalty would be lower than the additional premium insurers would charge to individuals. This may happen if they were able to discriminate based on health state.

On an average, people are jobless for about 8 to 10 weeks before they find a new job. That’s about 56 to 70 days. And when people are devoid a job, just getting by paying bills and mortgage can be difficult. Adding to it, imagine the expense of paying an insurance premium.

Here’s to hoping the final replacement of the employer health insurance. This will be a gift to Julianne Stone and the rest of America.

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