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Report: Which NH industries’ employees would qualify for expanded Medicaid

Ten industries employ nearly half of New Hampshire’s working uninsured people; in seven of those 10 industries, low-income workers without health insurance outnumber those with coverage, according to a paper being released today by the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute.

Lawmakers are set to start debating next week whether the state should expand Medicaid as authorised by the federal health insurance reform law known as Obamacare.

The law allows states to expand Medicaid to all adults aged 19 through 64 with family incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $15,900 for a single person and $32,500 for a family of four).

A study last year predicted 58,000 of the eligible people will take up coverage through Medicaid, if allowed, but the NHFPI study included all 100,000 adults in the state who are technically eligible because of their income and age. Nearly 75,000 of those people are currently employed.

Restaurants and other food service workers make up the largest single industry group of employed Granite Staters earning below the eligibility cut-off, at 8,950. The NHFPI analysis of the 2011 American Community Survey showed that 4,920, or 55 percent, do not have health insurance.

Roughly 7,350 construction workers are eligible and 3,760 do not currently have insurance.

The other industries with a high number of income-eligible, uninsured workers are: traveler accomodations; janitorial, extermination, carpeting and other building services; amusement, gambling, and recreation industries; elementary and secondary schools; department and discount stores; grocery stores; and landscaping services.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

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