The number of uninsured rose sharply in 2009, reaching 50 million people. Decreasing the number of uninsured is a key goal of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will provide Medicaid or subsidized coverage to qualifying individuals with incomes up to 400% of poverty. The Kaiser Commission report on “Medicaid and the Uninsured” identified five key facts:
- Most of the nation’s 50 million uninsured are low- or moderate-income. Individuals below poverty are at the highest risk of being uninsured, and this group comprises 40% of all the uninsured
- More than three-quarters of the uninsured are in a working family. Some 77% of the 50 million uninsured in the U.S. come from working families
- Medicaid fills a key gap by preventing more people from becoming uninsured. Medicaid has been key to preventing more people from being uninsured, and the share of people covered by the program increased significantly during the recession.
- About one-quarter of uninsured adults go without needed care due to cost. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that the uninsured are less likely than those with insurance to receive preventive care and services for major health conditions,
- Medical bills are a burden for the uninsured and frequently leave them with debt. These bills can quickly translate into medical debt since most of the uninsured have low or moderate incomes and have little, if any, savings.
The brief expands on each point and provides basic facts that explain why so many people lack coverage and the effects of being uninsured. Read More…
Source: Kaiser Commission, September 2010