Minimum wage raises translate to health coverage gaps, researchers say

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Each dollar that the minimum wage increases reflects an additional percentage point that low-wage workers will not have health insurance, according to researchers. 

Authors of a new study in the American Journal of Health Economics told Newsweek that, in the national fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, increases may be tied to a dip in employer-provided insurance coverage. 

Using Census Bureau data, the researchers found that amid 23 states and Washington, D.C., raising their minimum wages in 2015, 102,000 of 31.5 million low-wage workers lost job-based insurance. The increases in minimum wages ranged from $0.12 to $1.

The researchers tie the trend to the rising cost of healthcare — thereby resulting in larger savings in cutting employee health benefits — and the development of ACA coverage.

The research disputes older reports that claim there is no relationship between minimum wages and job-based insurance, the researchers told Newsweek.

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