Nation's 'Underinsured' Grew 80 Percent from 2003 to 2010

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<p>The number of U.S. adults who had health insurance all year but were still "underinsured"—that is, they had very high medical expenses relative to their incomes—rose by 80 percent between 2003 and 2010, from 16 million to 29 million, according to a new <a href="/publications/journal-article/2011/sep/affordable-care-act-reforms-could-reduce-number-underinsured">Commonwealth Fund study</a>  published in the September issue of <em>Health Affairs</em>. <br /><br />Nearly half of U.S. adults, 81 million people, were either underinsured or uninsured in 2010, up from 75 million in 2007 and 61 million in 2003. The study found that the underinsured go without needed health care and struggle to pay medical bills or medical debt at rates approaching those for adults who were uninsured during the year. For example, 46 percent of underinsured adults and 63 percent of uninsured adults didn't fill a prescription or see a doctor when sick, or went without a recommended medical test or treatment, compared with 28 percent of people who had adequate health coverage. <br /><br />According to the authors, the Affordable Care Act, in addition to covering the uninsured, will provide significant relief for those who are underinsured. Once the law is fully implemented, the number of underinsured could drop by as much as 70 percent. </p>
<p>Read more about the study’s findings and implications <a href="/publications/journal-article/2011/sep/affordable-care-act-reforms-could-reduce-number-underinsured">here</a>.</p>