Kaiser_uninsuredprimer

Kaiser_uninsuredprimer - THE UNINSURED A PRIMER Key Facts...

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THE UNINSURED A PRIMER Key Facts About Americans Without Health Insurance OCTOBER 2011
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The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured provides information and analysis on health care coverage and access for the low-income population, with a special focus on Medicaid’s role and coverage of the uninsured. Begun in 1991 and based in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Washington, DC office, the Commission is the largest operating program of the Foundation. The Commission’s work is conducted by Foundation staff under the guidance of a bipartisan group of national leaders and experts in health care and public policy.
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The Uninsured: A Primer The number of nonelderly uninsured reached 49.1 million in 2010 due to the weak economy, which contributed to the erosion of job-based coverage. As incomes drop, Medicaid continues to buffer the loss of health insurance for millions. Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1 How Do Most Americans Obtain Health Insurance? ................................................... 3 More than half of people under the age of 65 obtain health coverage as an employer benefit. While Medicare covers virtually all of the elderly, the nonelderly who do not have access to or cannot afford private insurance go without health coverage unless they qualify for the Medicaid program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or other state-subsidized insurance programs. Who Are the Uninsured? .............................................................................................. 6 Most of the uninsured come from working families and have low incomes. Adults make up a disproportionate share of the uninsured because they are less likely than children to be eligible for Medicaid. Young adults whose low incomes make it more difficult to afford coverage are especially likely to be uninsured. How and Why Has the Number of Uninsured Changed? ............................................. 9 The number of uninsured has increased over the past decade, largely due to the struggling economy and resulting weak job market. Adults have experienced a larger increase in their uninsured rate compared to children. This difference is largely due to limited eligibility for public coverage among adults. How Does Lack of Insurance Affect Access to Health Care? ....................................... 11 Health insurance makes a difference in whether and when people get necessary medical care, where they get their care, and ultimately, how healthy people are. The consequences of reduced access to care over time can be serious, including preventable hospitalizations, poor overall health, disability, and premature death. What Are the Financial Implications of Lack of Coverage?
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Kaiser_uninsuredprimer - THE UNINSURED A PRIMER Key Facts...

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