Only 22% of Americas earning the lowest ten percent of wages are offered medical benefits by their employer, according to a new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This compares with 93% of the top ten percent of earners who are offered medical benefits at work. Unfortunately, the lowest wage workers also pay more for their benefits and employers pay less. Workers with wages in the lowest ten percent pay almost $125 more per month for family coverage than workers with wages in the top ten percent. Not surprisingly, even the lower wage workers who are offered benefits are less likely to accept them. Only 11% of workers with wages in lowest ten percent of Americans participate in employer-sponsored coverage, compared to 72% of those in the highest ten percent of wages. Employer offers of dental and vision benefits are lower than medical benefits among all workers, but the disparity between high and low wage earners is also reflected there. Low wage workers are also less likely to be offered retirement, paid leave, paid vacation, and paid holiday benefits, according to the BLS.
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