Millions still lack affordable coverage, but young adult gains bode brighter future

From the Commonwealth Fund:

Eighty-four million people―nearly half of all working-age U.S. adults―went without health insurance for a time last year or were underinsured because of high out-of-pocket costs relative to income, according to a new study based on findings from theCommonwealth Fund’s 2012 Biennial Health Insurance Survey.

At the same time, the report finds that the proportion of young adults who were uninsured during the year fell from 48 percent to 41 between 2010 and 2012, reversing a decade-long trend for the 19-to-25 age group. The health reform law’s provision allowing young people to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 is likely the reason for the improvement, the authors say.

The survey also finds that medical debt continues to burden U.S. households, leading in many cases to lower credit ratings and even bankruptcy. In 2012, 41 percent of working-age adults, or 75 million people, had problems paying their medical bills or were paying off medical bills over time.

Visit commonwealthfund.org to read the report and a blog posthighlighting how California, Florida, New York, and Texas fared on key measures of health care coverage and affordability. Also be sure to use our interactive feature, “The Price of Being Uninsured.”

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