Thursday, November 11. 2010
For at least part of this year, 59 million Americans were uninsured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number marks an increase of 4 million from last year.
Lacking health insurance can have long-lasting implications. The uninsured may delay seeking healthcare when they need it, making some conditions worse and more expensive to treat. Even those with coverage, but who must pay a high deductible, may steer away from treatment.
In addition to more people going without health insurance, the type of people failing to have coverage is also changing, says CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden. It's no longer just the poor that are uninsured.
"In fact, half of the uninsured are over the poverty level and one in three adults under 65 in the middle income range defined arbitrarily here between $44,000 and $65,000 a year for a family of four were uninsured at some point in the year," says Frieden.
Under healthcare reform, most people will be required to have coverage by 2014 or face a tax penalty. While insurance exchanges are suppose to make individual health insurance plans more affordable, fears still exist amongst many as to how they will cover such expenses.
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