As insurance premiums rise and more employers drop coverage, an increasing number of Americans are living without health insurance. Nearly one in three non-elderly Americans—86.7 million people—went without health coverage for all or part of 2006-2007. And four out of five of those individuals were in working families.
Why does insurance matter? People without insurance are more likely to go without preventive care, to delay or forgo medical care, and to die prematurely. When sick, the uninsured may turn to emergency rooms for care, where oftentimes they are charged more for services than insured patients. And when uninsured patients can’t afford their medical bills, the cost of this care is passed on to the insured in the form of higher premiums.
This section of our Web site explores who is uninsured and how we can increase coverage.
For information on how the new health care law will help the uninsured, go to Health Reform Central.
From the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Georgetown University:
Health-Insurance Coverage for Low-Wage Workers, 1979-2012 and Beyond discusses the steady decline in coverage for low-wage workers over the past three decades, but it also explains that the experience with health reform in Massachusetts suggests that the Affordable Care Act may reverse this trend. (February 2012)
From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
Georgia’s Tax Breaks to Increase Use of Health Savings Accounts Did Not Expand Health Coverage: Plan Promoted by Gingrich Group Has Failed to Deliver explains how this approach, which was designed to reduce the number of uninsured Georgians by 500,000, has actually increased the number of uninsured people by 319,000. (February 2012)
From the Kaiser Family Foundation:
Mapping the Effects of the ACA’s Health Insurance Coverage Expansions allows you to enter a zip code and get an estimate of the share of the population in that region that will benefit from the Affordable Care Act through either Medicaid or tax credits for private insurance in the exchanges. (February 2012)
From the National Health Law Program:
Top Ways Health Reform Helps provides the top five ways the Affordable Care Act helps the following groups: Medicaid beneficiaries, older adults and people with disabilities, women, and children and young adults. It also explains how the health care law addresses disparities and helps people get coverage. The lists are divided into provisions that are already in effect and those that are coming soon. (March 2012)
From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute:
The Individual Mandate in Perspective estimates the number of Americans who would be subject to this provision in the Affordable Care Act, identifies their insurance status without the law, and simulates their eligibility for Medicaid or premium tax credits. It finds that 94 percent of people would not be required to newly purchase coverage or pay a fine. (March 2012)