Navigation Links
Consumer Health Insurance Site Founder: Health Reform or No Health Reform, Americans Can Help Reduce Rolls of the Uninsured

For many uninsured Americans, finding health insurance coverage may be a simple matter of getting information about coverage that's already available to them. And, while state governments and health care advocacy groups are making concerted efforts to direct the uninsured to coverage, efforts by ordinary citizens can also help reduce the rolls of the uninsured, according to Charles Smith-Dewey, founder of one of the Web's most respect health insurance information sites.

(PRWEB) March 4, 2010 -- The highly publicized health care legislation being debated in Congress is intended to reduce the ranks of America's uninsured. It remains to be seen whether Congress will pass significant reform, but what's not in question is that many of America's uninsured don't have to wait for new legislation to pass to get coverage, according to the founder of the one of the Web's most visited consumer-focused health insurance sites.

For many uninsured Americans, finding health coverage may be a simple matter of getting information about coverage that's already available to them. And, while state governments and health care advocacy groups are making concerted efforts to direct the uninsured to coverage, efforts by ordinary citizens can also help reduce the rolls of the uninsured, says Charles Smith-Dewey, founder of the Health Insurance Resource Center.

The growing problem

According to "State of the States," a 2009 publication by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the number of Americans without health insurance rose to 46.3 million in 2008 – or 15.4 percent of the population. Even working adults – 26.9 million of them – are increasingly uninsured.

The growing number of uninsured Americans is driven in part by a continued rise in premiums which, according to the report, have increased by 131 percent over the past decade. In recent weeks, both the media and the Obama Administration expressed outrage over WellPoint's decision to increase health insurance rates by double digits in 11 states – and as much as 39 percent for some policy holders in California.

As a result, the percentage of Americans with private health insurance is dropping while the number of individuals with employer-sponsored insurance rates also continues a long-term decline.

The consequences

The consequences of not having insurance are numerous for the uninsured – and for the insured. A report from the Institute of Medicine on the consequences of not having insurance noted that

  • uninsured Americans "experience worse health and die sooner" than their insured counterparts;
  • families suffer emotionally and financially when a family member is uninsured;
  • the uninsured cause instability at the community level for health care providers and institutions and for the services and programs accessible to residents; and
  • the nation suffers economically due to the "poorer health and premature death" of uninsured Americans.

Where the uninsured turn

As Americans lose their private health insurance and their employer-sponsored coverage, more and more people are turning to public programs to find whatever affordable coverage they can secure. Many states, in response to increasing demand, are making their own efforts to expand access to programs.

Eighteen states have passed or enacted legislation to expand Medicaid and CHIP programs. And last year, Congress provided funding to states so they could expand eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP.

Some individuals – including many who can actually afford insurance – have been denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Those individuals are increasingly looking to high-risk insurance pools, state-sponsored pools of individuals who have been denied coverage by private insurance companies.

Unfortunately, not all states offer risk pools – and when they do, the pools are often markedly more expensive, which still puts coverage out of reach for many individuals.

Communities offer help

But even with increased funding and promotion of these programs by the states, millions of families continue to go without insurance because they're not aware that they're eligible for publicly administered health insurance programs. And sadly, many Americans aren't aware of how easy it is to help the uninsured.

"In response to the current debate about reform, Americans are sending loud, clear messages to Washington about their desire for legislation that will cover more of the uninsured," says Smith-Dewey, who founded the Health Insurance Resource Center in 1994. "But their voices can accomplish as much, if not more, in their own communities."

Smith-Dewey says that more and more, communities are witnessing grassroots efforts to raise awareness of affordable coverage options for the uninsured. "It may be as simple as using your school or community group newsletter, bulletin board or Web site to post directions to insurance resources," he says.

For CHIP and Medicaid assistance, the most convenient resource is often a state's department of insurance. For Web sites and phone numbers of each state's department, visit Individuals seeking coverage through state high-risk pools can find contact information for participating states at

Beyond posting the information, an increasing number of community groups are hosting insurance enrollment drives, Smith-Dewey says. Well-organized initiatives such as "Cover the Uninsured," a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, give individuals the information and tools they need to learn about insurance options in their states and to start their own community drives.

"Cover the Uninsured Week" – a nonpartisan campaigned organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – has endeavored for seven years to help millions of uninsured Americans find coverage. The drive this year will take place March 14-20.

"Through the ongoing debate, we've all learned that a lack of health coverage can have catastrophic consequences," Smith-Dewey says. "Fortunately, we've also learned that Americans genuinely want to help solve the health care crisis – and that they're willing to take steps in their own communities."

For more information about health coverage resources – both public and private – available in your state, visit is a free online source of consumer health resources, including information about individual health insurance, major medical insurance and affordable medical insurance. Access to free health insurance quotes – private and online – is available by visiting

# # #

Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2010 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Consumer Alert: Denture Cream Maker Warns Doctors of Product Dangers
2. Finds Carcinogenic form of Chromium in Supplements, Including Those for Weight Loss
3. FDA Consumer Health Information -- Survey Shows Gains in Food-Label Use, Health/Diet Awareness
4. Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. To Present at the 2010 Stifel Nicolaus Consumer Conference
5. Helps Consumers Make Informed Decisions About Their Health
6. Mayo Clinic introduces 2 consumer mobile applications
7. Latest quality and purity specifications for food ingredients help protect consumers
8. Buy HGH Website Educates Consumers on the Pros and Cons of Human Growth Hormone Supplements
9. QHR Hospital Client, Kadlec Medical Center, Lauded by Consumer Reports
10. LifeScan Recalls Specific Lots of Consumer and Professional OneTouch(R) SureStep(R) Test Strips Due To Inaccurate Readings at High Levels
11. Sen. Barbara Boxer Commends California Poultry Companies and Cites Foster Farms Campaign for Raising Consumer Awareness About Sodium
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Consumer Health Insurance Site Founder: Health Reform or No Health Reform, Americans Can Help Reduce Rolls of the Uninsured
(Date:6/25/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the ... to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The ... Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World ... with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an ... Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile ... orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented its first-ever “Issue ... conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the outstanding work of ... and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, we recognize the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 26, 2016 One of Australia,s ... announced the formation of a new biotechnology company, Noxopharm Limited [ABN ... in an IPO and to list on the ASX. ... NOX66, ready to enter a Phase 1 clinical study later this ... to address one of the biggest problems facing cancer patients - ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired ... Time). As previously announced on May 31, ... merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... OTTAWA, Ontario , June 27, 2016  VMS ... the Company,s Board will take whatever measures required to ... the Company,s stock which is currently listed on the ... S Wexler, Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing ... be difficult to understand, not only by the Company, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: