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New health insurance survey: 84 million people were uninsured for a time or underinsured in 2012
Date:4/25/2013

New York, NY, April 26, 2013Eighty-four million people―nearly half of all working-age U.S. adults―went without health insurance for a time last year or had out-of-pocket costs that were so high relative to their income they were considered underinsured, according to the Commonwealth Fund 2012 Biennial Health Insurance Survey. The survey also found that the proportion of young adults ages 1925 who were uninsured during the year fell from 48 percent to 41 percent between 2010 and 2012, reversing a nearly decade-long trend of rising uninsured rates in that age group. This reversal is likely due to a provision in the 2010 Affordable Care Act allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26, the authors say. The report, Insuring the Future: Current Trends in Health Coverage and the Effects of Implementing the Affordable Care Act, finds that the percentage of Americans who were uninsured, underinsured, or had gaps in their health coverage grew steadily between 2003 and 2010, with the number of underinsured nearly doubling from 16 million in 2003 to 29 million in 2010. However, between 2010 and 2012, the numbers of underinsured adults leveled off, growing to 30 million. The authors say that this is partly a result of slower health care cost growth and lower overall health spending by consumers, combined with declining household incomes. But provisions in the health reform lawsuch as requiring insurers to cover recommended preventive care without any cost to patientsalso are beginning to make health care more affordable for many consumers.

"The early provisions of the Affordable Care Act are helping young adults gain coverage and improving the affordability of health care during difficult economic times for American families," said Sara Collins, Ph.D., a Commonwealth Fund vice president and the study's lead author. "It will be critical to continue to monitor the effects of the law as the major provisions go into effect
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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