Published September 22nd, 2016 by Stephanie
The mandate for health insurance is enforced by an income tax penalty, one that’s increasing year by year in order to encourage Americans and legal residents to get a health plan. But while that may be a straightforward concept for the people who live in the United States all year round, federal officials are having trouble reaching the seasonal farm workers who come up from Mexico and other nearby countries to work the fields for around half of each year and then return home.
These seasonal workers may be foreign nationals who only come here to work long, hard hours in the hot sun, but they earn a United States income and so they have to deal with our income tax laws. They also stand to benefit from having health insurance while they’re here: agricultural work is very dangerous thanks to regular exposure to pesticides and the real risk of heatstroke. The sorting and packing process also exposes workers to large, dangerous machinery. On top of that, if a worker has to go to the hospital, the bill may be well beyond his or her income.
However, reaching these seasonal workers and informing them about the health insurance mandate has been a problem. Sometimes their employers handle the insurance issues for them, but sometimes they don’t. Reaching seasonal workers can be difficult since they frequently live in on-site employee housing without internet access, they also move around a lot as different crops need harvesting and then return home to their families each year, plus many of them only speak Spanish. This means it’s hard to contact them about the mandate, to let them know which plans they can choose, and to send bills so they can pay their premiums on time.
Fortunately, there are ways both citizens and visitors can reduce the cost of American health care, and it’s called the USA Rx pharmacy discount card. Whether you’re a citizen, a legal resident, or a seasonal worker, all we need from you to send you a discount card is your name and an email address. Agricultural employers can also hand out our cards to their employees without any significant cost to them.
Our card isn’t a replacement for a full health insurance plan, it does provide up to 75 percent discounts on both name-brand and generic prescription medications. Call us at 888-277-3911 or send an email to [email protected] if you’d like to learn more.