Study: Number of Underinsured Adults Rose 80% From 2003-2010

The number of underinsured adults rose by 80 percent between 2003 and 2010, jumping from 16 million to 29 million, according to a Commonwealth Fund study published in the Sept. 2011 issue of Health Affairs.

Nearly half of U.S. adults were underinsured or uninsured in 2010, rising to 81 million people from 75 million in 2007 and 61 million in 2003.

The study found that in addition to covering the uninsured, provisions through healthcare reform will provide significant relief for people who are underinsured. The study found that the Affordable Care Act could potentially reduce the number of uninsured people by 70 percent once the law is fully implemented.

According to the report, the uninsured go without needed healthcare and struggle to pay medical bills or pay off medical debt at times similar to those without health insurance. Nearly half of underinsured people and 63 percent of uninsured adults didn't fill a prescription, visit a physician when sick or receive recommended treatment, compared with 28 percent of people with adequate health insurance.

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