Report shows that recession has impacted insurance coverage for Americans

A report by the Commonwealth fund has found that the more than half of adults ages 19 – 64 that lost a job that had health benefits during the past two years became uninsured.  The study also found that Americans with health insurance had higher deductibles and consequently greater exposure to medical costs over the past few years.

 Other key findings from the report:

  • Nearly one-quarter of working-age adults reported that they and/or their spouse had lost their job within the past two years
  • 71 percent of those who attempted to buy a health plan in the individual market in the last three years, could not due to high cost, inadequate medical coverage, or were turned down because of a medical condition
  • Adults in families with low and moderate incomes were most at risk of going without coverage. 
  • Young adults and minorities were also without coverage at high rates.
  • The number of adults who reported spending large amounts of their income on premiums and out-of-pocket costs climbed from 21% to 32% over the past decade.
  • Two of five adults, or 75 million people, said that, because of the cost, they had not been able to get needed care, including not going to the doctor when they were sick, not filling a prescription, skipping a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up visit, or not getting needed specialist care. 

The study estimates that as provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect beginning in 2014, the nation's health insurance system will move from one in which 52 million adults were uninsured in 2010 to one in which few people will be without health insurance, even during a recession.

(Sources: AHA News Now,, March 16, 2011; The Commonwealth Fund,, March 16, 2011)