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Onsite Clinics Conducted By Catapult Health Reveal Teachers Struggling With Health Care Costs


Onsite Clinics Conducted By Catapult Health Reveal Teachers Struggling With Health Care Costs

Poor health, insurance costs forcing educators to make tough decisions

PR Newswire

DALLAS, Sept. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Schools are being challenged by rising costs of health insurance, which are typically passed along to teachers as higher premiums and higher deductibles. That strategy helps schools stay within their budgets but can be devastating for teachers.

Blood chemistry and blood pressure evaluation are key steps in an onsite preventive care checkup by Catapult Health.

At a recent onsite preventive care clinic for a school in rural Arkansas, the blood pressure of an employee who had recently lost his insurance and stopped taking his medication due to costs was at stroke level. "It was frightening, but not uncommon," said Allie Barker, a nurse with the State of Arkansas. "Fortunately, we were able to get him into a local clinic and back on medications that day."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average premium for a family health plan for teachers increased from $5,755 to $7,174 between 2007 and 2017.

What's causing the increases?

  • Health care costs increased for most Americans. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the average family premium increased 55% since 2007.
  • Teachers are getting older. Teachers 50+ make up 31% of those in classrooms.
  • Women account for 75% of all teachers. The barriers they face to healthcare are complex, with many forgoing care due to childcare problems, inability to find time, or difficulty taking time off from work, according to the Kaiser Women's Health Survey.
  • Teachers have higher rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension compared to other American adults.

A recent study of more than 42,000 school employees evaluated by Catapult Health, a national provider of worksite preventive care, revealed the following:

  • 11.8% have diabetes, and half are not effectively controlling it. The Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) reports that 9.4% of adults have diabetes.
  • 34.6% have hypertension, and a third are not controlling it. The national prevalence rate is 29%.
  • 49.1% are obese. The national rate is 39.8%.

"Our data confirms that many school employees don't get recommended care," said David Michel, CEO for Catapult. A fourth of the women 40+ had not had a mammogram in the last two years; 22% of the women 18+ had not had a recent Pap smear; and 44% of all employees 50+ had not had any type of colorectal screening.

"The lack of preventive care is resulting in undiagnosed and untreated chronic disease: 22% were found to have a previously undiagnosed lipid (cholesterol) disorder; 5% had undiagnosed hypertension; and 1.4% had undiagnosed diabetes," said Michel.


Lee Dukes



Catapult Health

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