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The Commonwealth Fund is a well known organization. So it's worth it to look at their findings. And according to their findings, half of Americans don't have adequate health insurance (meaning they are uninsured, underinsured, or have experienced coverage gaps). This is on top of the fact that half of Americans don't even have $400 to pay for an emergency (ABC News). So if half of Americans don't even have $400, how are they supposed to afford health care plans with $7000 deductibles or out of pocket costs?
We will present the findings from the Commonwealth Fund’s latest Biennial Health Insurance Survey, which looks at the number of insured and underinsured Americans in 2018 (which is their latest data).
It is true that more people in 2018 had health insurance than they did before the passage of the Affordable Care Act ACA in 2010. The duration of coverage gaps has shortened. More people are getting preventative care. And there has been some improvement in longterm uninsured rates. The Commonwealth Fund found that despite the actions of the Trump administration and Congress to weaken the ACA, the adult uninsured rate was 12.4 percent in 2018, statistically unchanged from 2016.
However, nearly 45% of U.S. adults between the ages of 19-64 were inadequately insured, according to their findings.
And between 2010 and 2018, there was an increase in the underinsured occurring among those in employer plans.
What does it mean to be underinsured? According to the Commonwealth Fund, an underinsured person experiences the following:
- Their out-of-pocket costs, excluding premiums, over the prior 12 months are equal to 10 percent or more of household income; or
- Their out-of-pocket costs, excluding premiums, over the prior 12 months are equal to 5 percent or more of household income for individuals living under 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($24,120 for an individual or $49,200 for a family of four); or
- Their deductible constitutes 5 percent or more of household income.
People who are underinsured, or spend any time uninsured, report cost-related problems getting care and difficulty paying medical bills at higher rates than those with continuous, adequate coverage.
The Commonwealth Fund has some solutions on their page for helping the underinsured and uninsured. We don't claim to agree with everything they say, but since they are a well known organization, it is worth it to see some of the things they suggest.
Need for Single Payer Health Insurance
Links on National Health Insurance