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Report: Unemployment Adds 9 Million Uninsured in U.S.
Date:3/16/2011

ing is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has already begun to bring relief to families," Davis added. "Once the new law is fully implemented, we can be confident that no future recession will have the power to strip so many Americans of their health security."

According to the report, people who lost employer-based health insurance found new coverage exceedingly hard to come by. In fact, only 25 percent of these people were able to find a source for health insurance, and only 14 percent continued their coverage through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), which allows the employee to buy continued coverage under the employer-based health plan for a limited amount of time.

COBRA, even with increased government participation, is still unaffordable for most people who have lost their job, Davis explained.

Moreover, 71 percent of Americans who tried to purchase an individual plan -- 19 million people -- found it difficult or impossible to find a plan they could afford or that met their needs, or they were turned down or charged extra because of a pre-existing condition, the researchers found.

The problem of the uninsured in the United States has been getting worse. During 2010, some 52 million Americans went without health insurance, compared to 38 million in 2001, the survey revealed.

The hardest hit were adults with family incomes of less than $22,050 for a family of four (54 percent of whom were uninsured) and those with family incomes between $22,050 and $44,100 (41 percent of whom were uninsured). Among those with higher incomes, only 13 percent had no coverage during 2010, the researchers noted.

As health care costs continued to climb, both insured and uninsured had trouble affording care, the report states. In fact, an estimated 75 million Americans skipped doctor visits, prescriptions and recommended tests or treatments in 2010 because of costs. That's up from 47 million in 2001, the rese
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