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Three quarters of those who have lost jobs and health insurance are skipping needed health care
Date:8/23/2011

e policies over the last three years were unable to find a plan they could afford, and 35 percent were turned down by an insurer, charged more because of their health status, or had a specific health problem excluded from their coverage.

According to the report, the lack of viable health insurance options can take a toll on the health and financial security of those who have lost jobs along with their health insurance benefits:

  • 72 percent of respondents who became uninsured when they lost their job-based benefits said they didn't fill a prescription, skipped a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up, had a medical problem and did not visit a doctor or clinic, or did not get specialist care because of cost.

  • 72 percent of respondents who became uninsured when they lost their job-based benefits reported problems with medical bills, including not being able to pay their bills; paying off medical debt over time; being contacted by a collections agency over unpaid bills; and changing their way of life to pay medical bills.

  • 40 percent of adults who lost their job-based benefits and became uninsured were forced into making difficult financial tradeoffs in the past year because of medical bills: 32 percent had used up all their savings; 27 percent could not pay for basic necessities like food, heat or rent; 14 percent took on credit card debt; and 9 percent took out a home mortgage or loan.

How Health Reform Helps The Unemployed and Uninsured

The report finds that some early health reform provisions, including allowing young adults up to age 26 to remain on their parents' health insurance, and the creation of pre-existing condition insurance plans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, are already helping some of the unemployed and uninsured. However, the reforms that will have the most significant impact will take effect in 2014 when Medicaid is substantially expanded to cover single adults
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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