A family of four can spend up to $8,500 a year in emergency health care alone without losing the money they earn, according to a study released Wednesday.
The study, which looked at the earnings of 3,000 emergency medical technicians, showed that nearly half of families that had workers who earn less than $50,000 per year would spend more in emergency care than they would with the same workers making $150,000 to $300,000.
That means a family of three with two adults and a child would be saving up to an additional $3,000 in the year they would spend working in emergency medical services, the study found.
The family’s earnings would then be worth an additional 3 percent of their adjusted gross income.
“That would mean the family could save an additional 4 percent of income by working at home with their child,” said Dr. Mark Schmitt, an emergency medicine physician and the study’s lead author.
That’s equivalent to an extra $2,200 of annual earnings.
In many cases, the family would also get to save an extra 2 percent of disposable income for themselves and their children.
The authors say that while the study does not measure how much of that extra income would come from working in the emergency room, it’s important to remember that families with workers earning more than $150 for a family will be better off financially, and the extra money they would save would also come from paying higher insurance premiums.
The report, which was sponsored by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and the American Association of Public Health Dentists, was released by the American College of Emergency Physicians.
“It is important to note that, even in the absence of the impact of a job, workers in the industry have the potential to save tens of thousands of dollars in their lifetime,” said Schmitt.
“The average annual cost of a worker’s care is about $7,000 and in some cases up to twice that.”
The study was based on data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The average pay of an emergency medical technician is $47,600 a year, according the study.
The median household income in the United States is $59,400, according a report released last year by the Census Bureau.