Health Plan Good “Catch” for Fishing Industry

Vol. VI, No. 5
October 2003

The already large numbers of Americans without health insurance continue to grow as more and more employers respond to high health care costs and a weak economy by cutting back on the coverage they offer their employees. Reformers have focused efforts to reduce their numbers on working people since most of the uninsured are employed. One demonstration program recently targeted people in the fishing industry, who tend to be expensive to insure, in part because health plan administrators and carriers assume that fishing is a risky line of work that will likely lead to the high use of health care services. New research at Boston University, however, finds that individuals enrolled in the Fishing Partnership Health Plan (FPHP) were not more likely to use health care services, or incur greater costs, than people with similar insurance who did not fish for a living.