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New health insurance survey: 9 million adults joined ranks of uninsured due to job loss in 2010
Date:3/15/2011

New York, NY, March 16, 2011An estimated nine million working-age adults57 percent of people who had health insurance through a job that was lostbecame uninsured in the last two years, according to the Commonwealth Fund 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey, released today. The survey paints a bleak picture for the 43 million adults under age 65 who reported that they or their spouse lost a job in the past two years, finding that job losses are often compounded by the loss of health insurance, leaving families vulnerable to catastrophic financial losses and bankruptcy in the event of a serious illness or accident.

According to the report, Help on the Horizon: How the Recession Has Left Millions of Workers Without Health Insurance, and How Health Reform Will Bring Relief, the unemployed have great difficulty finding affordable health care. Only 25 percent of people who lost employer health insurance were able to find another source of health insurance coverage, and only 14 percent continued their job-based coverage through COBRA. In addition, purchasing individual coverage was not a viable option for most people. Seventy-one percent of adults who tried to buy individual coverage in the past three years, or 19 million people, either found it difficult or impossible to find a plan that fit their needs; found it difficult or impossible to find a plan they could afford; or were turned down or charged a higher price for coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

"This survey tells a story of millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the recession, lost their health benefits too, and had essentially no place to turn for affordable health care coverageputting their health and financial security at risk," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "The silver lining is that the Affordable Care Act has already begun to bring relief to families. Once the new law is fully implemented, we can be confident that no future recession will have
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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