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Consumer Reports: 'A World of Pain' For Uninsured Seeking Insurance on Their Own
Date:12/3/2007

Third Report About America's Health Care Crisis With 6 Tips For Buying Individual Insurance

YONKERS, N.Y., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumer Reports' yearlong investigation into health insurance explains the huge hurdles that consumers, including healthy people with minor ailments, face when they try to acquire health insurance on their own.

According to research cited in the report, 89 percent of people who looked into buying individual insurance had not bought it because it was too costly, they were turned down for health reasons, or it provided inadequate benefits. The report, "On their Own," is featured in the January issue of Consumer Reports, on newsstands December 4 and available online at http://www.ConsumerReports.org/health where CR maintains a health insurance hub for consumers. The report is the third in a series on America's health care crisis.

FIXING THE PRIVATE INSURANCE MARKET: THE HURDLES

"What we've learned in our investigation is that private insurance is virtually out of the question for most uninsured Americans -- 76 percent to be precise -- and those who do manage to acquire insurance on their own tell us wrenching stories about the high costs and poor coverage they receive," said Nancy Metcalf, health editor at Consumer Reports. People in need of private insurance face a daunting dilemma--buying limited health insurance at a high cost or foregoing insurance altogether. Who could fall into this category? Any adult who hopes to retire early, loses a job, is self-employed, or has an adult child leaving a group plan.

CLOSE UP: INDIVIDUAL COVERAGE, MORE COMPLAINTS

Source: Consumer Reports National Research Center

INDIVIDUAL PLAN EMPLOYER PLAN

Overall complaints with coverage 71% 53%

Insurance covered most costs 55%
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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