Will Hiring People with Disabilities Increase Health Insurance Costs?

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Will Hiring People with Disabilities Increase Health Insurance Costs?

By Andy Marso

Published June 17, 2020

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibit companies from refusing to hire qualified candidates due to fears that their disabilities will increase health care costs. But do employees with disabilities really drive up health care costs in the first place?

The evidence suggests that if they do, it’s not by much.

Americans with disabilities do incur higher health care bills, on average, than those without disabilities, according to a study published in Health Affairs. But it varies a lot depending on the type of disability.

The study’s authors found that people with spinal cord injuries have higher-than-average health care costs, but people with blindness, deafness and intellectual disabilities have close-to-average costs, yet are still often incorrectly perceived as being more expensive. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, which prohibited insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, those group often found it difficult to get insured in the individual market.

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The additional [...]

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