13 June 2008

How many are underinsured?

Commonwealth Fund has just released a stunning report on underinsurance in the United States. "Insured But Poorly Protected: Number Up 60 Percent in 4 Years", finds that, "Rate of Underinsured Triples for Middle and Higher Income Families; Underinsured Go Without Needed Care and Face Medical Debt."

It's great to have these figures - even though they understate the problem. The report found that there are 25.2 million underinsured Americans - "based on their out-of-pocket health care costs relative to their incomes." That leaves a lot of underinsured people uncounted.

Here's the full text of the Health Affairs article, and here's an interview that the report's lead author, Cathy Schoen of the Commonwealth Fund, did with PBS. There's both a video and transcript there - and links to resources like this - U.S. vs. other nations.

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