Having Trouble Paying Your Healthcare Bills? You’re Not Alone

A study from the Commonwealth Fund titled “Losing Ground: How the Loss of Adequate Health Insurance Is Burdening Working Families” says that “In 2007, nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults, or an estimated 116 million people, struggled to pay medical bills, went without needed care because of cost, were uninsured for a time, or were underinsured (i.e., were insured but not adequately protected from high medical expenses).”

Among the study’s other findings:

  • “In 2007, more than one-quarter (28%) of U.S. adults, or an estimated 50 million people, were uninsured for some time during the past year. This is up from 24 percent of adults, or 38 million people, who were uninsured for part of 2001.”
  • “Families with incomes under $20,000 report the highest uninsured rates: half went without insurance for a time during 2007.”
  • “The proportion of adults—both insured and uninsured—that spent large shares of their income on out-of-pocket medical expenses and premiums climbed between 2001 and 2007. One-third of adults spent 10 percent or more of their income on health insurance and health care, up from 21 percent in 2001.”
  • “The share of adults who reported problems getting needed health care because of costs increased dramatically between 2001 and 2007, rising to 45 percent, up from 29 percent.”
  • “One-third (34%) of adults reported they experienced one of three care coordination problems: test results or medical records not being available at the time of a scheduled appointment, receiving duplicate medical tests, and experiencing delays in being notified about abnormal lab or diagnostic test results.”
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