Must-read for US employers and lawmakers: 43% of working adults are functionally uninsured
The Commonwealth Fund has published a report that is a must-read for employers and lawmakers. If they read nothing else this year, this should be it.
The report is based on a recent survey of American adults to determine how many of us are adequately insured. You can read the full report here, but below are the highlights:
43% of working adults in this country were inadequately insured this year. They are, in essence, functionally uninsured.
29% of us with employer coverage were underinsured.
44% of us who buy coverage through the individual market or ACA (Obamacare) marketplaces were underinsured.
46% of those surveyed said they had skipped or delayed care because of the cost.
42% said they had problems paying medical bills or were paying off medical debt.
49% said they would be unable to pay for an unexpected $1,000 medical bill within 30 days.
People with low incomes and people of color, regardless of whether they are covered by employer insurance or by an individual or marketplace plan, were underinsured at a higher rate than people with higher incomes. (That should surprise no one considering how insurers use high-deductibles as a blunt, one-size-fits-all “solution” to reduce the number of medical claims they pay.
Up to a fourth of people with chronic problems said they had not filled a prescription in the past year for their health care condition because of the cost.
Not only are insurers’ out-of-pocket requirements a huge barrier to care, but so is the ever-rising cost of health insurance. Premium costs are the main reason millions of Americans don’t buy coverage or drop their coverage. (As I wrote this week, the cost of health insurance increased more than 24% over the past 12 months.)
Want to know more about this growing crisis? Check out the Lower-Out-of-Pockets NOW coalition. And if you have a story to tell, let us know.