A new study has found 25 percent of the folks who provide most of the hour-to-hour care for people in hospitals and nursing homes are uninsured. Di Findley of the Iowa CareGivers Association says certified nursing assistants, home care aides and other direct care workers deserve better. Findley’s organization got a grant to conduct the survey of “direct care” workers in nursing homes and hospitals, and found 25 percent have no health care coverage from any source. She says another 12 percent of those workers rely on Medicaid or the state’s HAWK-I program to get health insurance coverage for themselves or their children. Findley says “it’s just wrong” and “tragic” that 25 percent of the people caring for the elderly in nursing homes and patients in hospitals don’t have health insurance for themselves. Findley’s group wants legislators to consider the needs to these workers. “What we don’t want to happen is for lawmakers to look for cost containment that may come at the expense of these people who are already poorly paid and have no health care coverage,” she says. According to the Iowa CareGivers Association, Certified Nursing Assistants, Home Care Aides and other direct care workers provide about 80 percent of the direct, hands-on care to Iowans of all ages and in a variety of care settings.
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