Home care workers demand health care access

Scores of San Mateo County home care workers and their clients urged the board of supervisors June 26 to increase access to health care.

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Thousands of seniors and people with disabilities live independently at home, thanks to the care that home care workers provide. Yet many home care workers are not receiving the care they need to be well.

That’s because a cap on the number of workers who are enrolled in San Mateo County’s health care plan is leaving the lowest-paid workers on a waiting list.

The county only allows 950 workers to receive medical coverage on its health plan. So far, 100 home care workers are being held indefinitely on a waiting list. Another 900 home care workers who would otherwise qualify for coverage are not even on the waiting list, leaving them little hope of ever receiving health care.

Fe Astrero

Fe Astrero

“Honorable board of supervisors, with the health of so many people on the line, we urge you to create more access to medical insurance for those workers who provide care to seniors and people with disabilities,” said Fe Astrero, a home care worker.

It wouldn’t cost the county much. For just $180,000 a year the county can enroll and provide care for 100 workers, positively impacting the health and well-being of 100 lives.

Teresa Garcia

Teresa Garcia

“With such high need for medical insurance, we understand the county cannot insure everyone at this time,” said Teresa Garcia, who spoke on behalf of her mother, who is a home care worker. “However, you can help save 100 people. 100 lives. If you allow home care workers to have more access to health care.”

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