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Is underinsured really as bad as uninsured?

Posted Jun 30th, 2008 by Patient Assistance Team
It’s no secret that those Americans who go without health insurance are of major concern. In an ideal world, no one would have to go without it.

But even those who do have health insurance are finding that it’s not enough. While they’re covered for things like the flu and the dentist, what about a broken bone? Cancer treatment? Surgery? When the worst happens, will you have to foot the bill?

According to a Commonwealth Fund study in the journal Health Affairs, 25 million adult Americans are considered underinsured – a figure up 60 percent from just five years ago.

As the presidential races heat up and health coverage continues to be a major talking point, it will be important to listen to what the candidates are saying. Instead of focusing on everyone getting insured, what about improving the quality of coverage to those who are insured?

Many of those who are underinsured go without care – more than 50 percent, according to the study. This means that the number of “underinsured” suddenly becomes part of the “uninsured,” but with insurance. This is a puzzling problem.

The bottom line is this – there is a health care epidemic in this country that must be addressed. It is arguably the single most important problem millions and millions of Americans face. Something has to be done.