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How Can Healthcare Insurance Become More Accessible to the Poor in Bridgeport, Connecticut?

By: Avery  

Introduction Video 

Background

Citizens of Bridgeport, Connecticut are greatly affected by the income inequalities that millions of Americans face, and the inequality faced in Bridgeport is significantly higher than the national average. Despite all of the affordable government insurance plans that are available in Connecticut, 18% of Bridgeport’s population does not have any healthcare insurance coverage, leaving them without access to the proper healthcare that they need. Although income inequalities greatly affect people financially, the stresses from not being able to sustain a living can lead to  health problems, plunging people into even more financial burdens. With your help, we can make heatlhcare more accessible to families and individuals with a low income and help them get the healthcare that they need. 

This graph from Business Insider shows that Connecticut has one of the highest income inequalities in the United States.

What Causes Income Inequalities?

To start off, an income inequality is a significant disparity of the distributions of income. There is typically a small portion of the population where wealth is accumulated, which creates a big gap between the affluence of one portion of the population in comparison to another. 

 

There are many different factors that contribute to the prominence of income inequality: 

  • Gender:  In many cases, men earn a higher income than women. 
  • Occupuation: Not all jobs pay the same amount of money. 
  • Geographic location: Income is relative to where an individual or family lives, so they generally earn the appropriate amount of money to support themselves based on the cost of living in that area. 
  • Ethnicity: This certainly goes hand in hand with occupation since people of different ethnicities can have a difficult time finding high paying jobs. 
  • Staggering growth in access to education: For those who have limited access to receiving a good education due to financial or geographical situations, it is often extremely difficult for them to attend college where they earn the qualifications to work a high paying job. 

 

Surprising Income Statistics for Bridgeport, CT:
  • Out of the 147,586 individuals living in Bridgeport, 20.8% live in poverty. 
  • The median household income is $44,841. 
  • The largest demographic in Bridgeport that is living in poverty are females ages 25-34. 

 

The Husky Program: 

The Husky Program is Connecticut’s public health coverage program. This program helps many of the families living in Bridgeport and the rest of the state gain access to affordable healthcare. The Husky Program covers all eligible children and their parents, adults without children, caregivers to relatives, disabled citizens, and pregnant women within the eligible income criteria. Although this program covers a wide variety of different groups, a person’s eligibility depends on the number of people in their family and the family’s annual income. Furthermore, this eligibility also changes depending on the type of insurance plan that you are seeking. For example, a family of three adults who makes under $29,436 annually is eligible, and a family of three with children who make under $34,128 annually are eligible. As there is such a fine line between who is eligible and who isn’t, there is, unfortunately, still a large amount of people, especially in Bridgeport, who cannot afford even insurance from the Huksy Program because they do not fit the criteria that is needed to gain this financial support. 

 

Surprising Statistics About Healthcare Insurance in Bridgeport: 
  • 82.5 % of Bridgeport’s population has healthcare coverage. 
  • Of Bridgeport’s population, 45% has private health insurance, 37% has public health insurance, and 18% does not have any coverage.
  • The income group with the highest lack of insurance coverage is $50k-75k, which is 22% of Bridgeport’s population. 
  • 5.4% of children living in Bridgeport do not have access to healthcare insurance. 

The data in this graph relates to Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

How Can We Solve This Problem? 

The respone that I am interested in taking to help mitigaite the inaccessibility to healthcare and healthcare insurance in Bridgeport is geared toward reducing income inequalities. I believe that the heart of this problem is that people simply cannot afford healthcare insurance, whether private or public, because they are so severely impacted by the income inequalities that are prevalent in our society. Unfortunately, this is something, in most cases, that is completely out of control of those who are affected by this problem, and they do not have all of the resources that they need to fix this problem. Ultimately, if people made the appropriate amount of money to afford healthcare insurance, this problem could easily be solved. 

In my research, I learned that media is very prominent in raising awareness about and reducing income inequalities. The media has been used in the past to help reduce income inequalities by improving work conditions, increasing wages and employment, informing people about the negative health impacts that income inequality has on health, and by investing in social programs. Fortunately, we live in an age where social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are dominant social platforms where information can easily be posted, shared, and commented upon. My goal is to start an Instagram account where I can post infographics that will inform people about income inequalities and how they affect healthcare. Here, I can easily share information not only to followers, but also reach out to other business and organizations that have the ability to carry out the necessary changes to ameliorate this problem. 

 

Here are some infographics that I have made that could be posted on this account: 


How Can You Help? 

By filling out this short survey, you can help me plan future research about income inequalities and their impacts on communities not only in Connecticut, but all around the world! This data will help me look into other people’s perspectives on the matter as well as help me research more statistics that I can use in future infographics. 

Sources can be found here 

 

If you have any additional feedback or questions, please do not hesitate to comment below! 

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COMMENTS: 6
  1. April 24, 2020 by Sangeeta Dhawan

    Your concern for access to health care for those less fortunate than us is commendable, timely and justified more than ever in this current period of pandemic. Just like education is mandatory and free until the age of sixteen, so should access to health care. Thank you, Avery, for an eloquent and thoughtful response.

  2. April 25, 2020 by Brian

    Hi Avery, I lived in Bport for 4 years while going to college at Sacred Heart. I would to contribute to your survey, but the link says permission is needed. If you get it up and running, let me know. Good work!

  3. April 26, 2020 by Justine Fellows

    Avery – great work and thank you for shedding light on this subject. I like that you link the stress of not having accessible care to the perpetuation of the problem. An investment in taking care of everyone will benefit everyone both physically and financially. I also love your idea to bring this topic to the forefront through social media. Well done!

  4. April 27, 2020 by Emmy

    Hi Avery! I love how you shed light on this topic and it is really cool how you concentrated on just one city. I liked your format of how you included facts with bullet points and included infographics.

  5. April 27, 2020 by Jason Cummings

    Thank you for this project and for participating in the conference, Avery. Bridgeport is a community I know well and its challenges are real and systemic. So glad you were able to dig into this at the local level.

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