As insurance premiums rise and more employers drop coverage, an increasing number of Americans are living without health insurance. Nearly one in three non-elderly Americans—86.7 million people—went without health coverage for all or part of 2006-2007. And four out of five of those individuals were in working families.
Why does insurance matter? People without insurance are more likely to go without preventive care, to delay or forgo medical care, and to die prematurely. When sick, the uninsured may turn to emergency rooms for care, where oftentimes they are charged more for services than insured patients. And when uninsured patients can’t afford their medical bills, the cost of this care is passed on to the insured in the form of higher premiums.
This section of our Web site explores who is uninsured and how we can increase coverage.
For information on how the new health care law will help the uninsured, go to Health Reform Central.
From Families USA:
State Advocate To-Do List for 2013 outlines issues that advocates may want to address in 2013 in anticipation of the changing health care environment. (January 2013)
From the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured:
The Cost and Coverage Implications of the ACA Medicaid Expansion: National and State-by-State Analysis estimates the impact of the Affordable Care Act on federal and state Medicaid costs, Medicaid enrollment, and the number of uninsured. It finds that states could significantly reduce the number of uninsured residents, and the cost of expanding Medicaid for states would be offset by increased federal funding. (November 2012)
Faces of the Medicaid Expansion: Experiences of Uninsured Adults Who Could Gain Coverage provides insight into the potential impact of expanding Medicaid by highlighting the struggles that uninsured adults face. It includes an overview brief that explains what’s at stake, as well as profiles of 10 people who would gain coverage if their states choose to expand Medicaid. (November 2012)
From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute:
Uninsurance Is Not Just a Minority Issue: White Americans Are a Large Share of the Growth from 2000 to 2010 compares changes in health coverage across racial and ethnic groups. It finds that nearly half of uninsured Americans are white, and the uninsurance rate among whites and blacks increased while the rate for Hispanics remained constant. (November 2012)
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