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Healthcare providers should be required to give their employees health insurance

By Dana Garchow
On March 31, 2014

Many health care personnel, whether in the medical or dental field, put their lives at risk every day because of the work they chose. They are exposed to bloodborne pathogens, communicable diseases and air-borne viruses. They deserve health insurance.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration , it is estimated that 5.6 million workers in the U.S. healthcare industry are at risk for occupational exposure. It is also estimated that 600,000 healthcare personnel incur a needlestick injury in the U.S. each year.

I have been working in the dental field for five years and through my experience I have yet to find an employer who offers health insurance. Working at a dentist office I am exposed to blood and saliva daily. I am provided personal protection equipment which includes gloves, a mask and safety glasses. I also wear a lab coat, but accidents happen.

I eventually came across a plan, “Blue Cross Blue Shield Young Adult Blue Max.” After receiving a follow-up bill of $300 and a lab bill of $600 for my doctor’s visit, I found out that my plan really wasn’t affordable. Those were out-of-pocket costs that I incurred from my doctor’s visit. I soon learned that nothing would be covered until I reached my deductible.

Many private practice doctors and dentists pay lots of money to keep their businesses running. They have to buy equipment, supplies, pay electric, water and their staff. They look at providing health insurance as an extra cost.

Health care coverage is not too much to ask for, especially when healthcare and dental care personnel dedicate their lives to helping others and are at risk every day. This should be a national law.

-Dana Garchow, 26, lives in Saginaw. She is a student at Delta College who is studying to become a surgical technician. She has worked in the dental and health care field for a few years and she believes all healthcare employees deserve health insurance.

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