Uninsured rates are low in the US but health care costs continue to be burdensome

Health care costs - US - Money - Calculator

A new Commonwealth Fund study showed that underinsurance remains a strong concern.

The Commonwealth Fund has released the results of a new study which found that health care costs remain a serious burden to working-age adults, even though many had insurance coverage.

The study showed that 43 percent of adults had inadequate coverage despite having a plan.

Even though many of the working-age adults who took part in the study had insurance, 43 percent of them were considered to be underinsured, meaning that health care costs were still a financial risk to them.

Health care costs - Uninsured Medical

The national uninsured rate has fallen to historic lows. Unfortunately, medical expenses continue to be a serious financial burden to people who still can’t afford to use the coverage they do have, said the study. This year, 43 percent of working-age adults were deemed to be “inadequately insured”, meaning that there was a gap in their coverage within the last 12 months or they couldn’t afford medical care even with the assistance of their coverage.

Underinsured adults who couldn’t afford their health care costs often went without assistance they needed.

Many of the people in the study who were struggling to afford the price of care would routinely delay appointments they needed, would skip medications prescribed to them, and accumulated medical debt they have no way to pay.

“Having health insurance isn’t enough,” explained Commonwealth Fund Sara Collins, the lead author of the study, in a statement about the results.

The study, which is conducted twice per year, involved the participation of a nationally representative sample of 8,022 adults who were surveyed between late March and early July online and by phone.

In early 2022, the national rate of uninsured Americans reached an all-time low. At that time, only about 8 percent of people nationwide were without coverage. The nonprofit’s survey found that a large proportion of people with a policy still struggled to be able to afford what they needed. That said, while being able to afford health care costs remains challenging for people who are underinsured, it is notably more problematic for people who don’t have any coverage at all to help offset medical expenses.

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