Friday, November 14, 2014

Financial protection provided by insurance is deteriorating

The Commonwealth Fund
November 2014
Too High a Price: Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs in the United States
By Sara R. Collins, Petra W. Rasmussen, Michelle M. Doty, and Sophie Beutel


Whether they have health insurance through an employer or buy it on
their own, Americans are paying more out-of-pocket for health care now
than they did in the past decade. A Commonwealth Fund survey fielded in
the fall of 2014 asked consumers about these costs. More than one of
five 19-to-64-year-old adults who were insured all year spent 5 percent
or more of their income on out-of-pocket costs, not including premiums,
and 13 percent spent 10 percent or more. Adults with low incomes had the
highest rates of steep out-of-pocket costs. About three of five
privately insured adults with low incomes and half of those with
moderate incomes reported that their deductibles are difficult to
afford. Two of five adults with private insurance who had high
deductibles relative to their income said they had delayed needed care
because of the deductible.


Comment by Don McCanne

Health reform was supposed to make health care more affordable, yet
underinsurance is increasing. The deductibles are more difficult for
people to afford and a delay in needed care has been the result. Single
payer would eliminate underinsurance. It's time.

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