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Posts Tagged ‘health insurance’

HIGHLAND PARK – The number of Americans paying more for health insurance policies that cover less has increased 60 percent since 2003, a troubling trend that is exacerbated by and contributing to the economic crisis according to a Community Catalyst report released last week in collaboration with NJ Citizen Action.  When Coverage Fails: Causes and Remedies for Inadequate Health Insurance outlines the implications of a growing “underinsurance” problem and urges government leaders to act to ensure families who purchase insurance get the coverage they need.

“Underinsurance is coverage on quicksand, and it’s putting the financial and physical well being of American families at risk and threatening our already weakened economy,” said Susan Sherry, deputy director of Community Catalyst, a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to quality affordable health care for all.  “As our federal and state government leaders work to expand health care coverage, we urge them to put in place common sense protections that limit families’ financial risk and guarantee essential benefits are included in all insurance products.”

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By Douglas H. Kirkpatrick, MD

For many Americans, health insurance provides affordable access to healthcare that allows them to prevent or lower disease risk, manage current medical conditions, and maintain overall health. But for the 47 million people in the US who are living without health insurance, attaining even the most basic care can be impossible. Every 24 minutes, someone in America dies because they are uninsured and cannot get the care they need.  

In 2006, women represented more than 45% of all uninsured people in the US. Thirteen percent of all pregnant women are uninsured, and older women between ages 55 and 65 are 20% more likely to be uninsured than men. Women are more likely to be dependents, making them susceptible to losing health insurance due to divorce, becoming widowed, or because their spouse’s company increases premiums or drops family coverage entirely.   

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A new ad from the Obama campaign raises the specter of Wall Street-style deregulation of the health insurance industry under a McCain presidency.

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