Thursday Post 11/4/11 - Commonwealth Fund Vice President of Survey Research and Evaluation; Sarah Collins and her colleague Michelle Doty, Vice President for Affordable Health Insurance; recently released the 2010 Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey. The Report detailed the extent at which job losses from 2008 through 2010 have led to lower levels of Healthcare Insurance for over nine million Americans. This has taken a major toll on the Health and Financial of six out of ten unemployed Americans who desperately rely on their employer to pay for their Healthcare Insurance. Not even COBRA meant to offer a reprieve to those whom are unemployed. COBRA only assists people for a year and a half after they have lost their job from a Company who employ over 20 people. Even with COBRA, you HealthCare Insurance is not free. If you are a COBRA participant; you must pay a portion of the monthly premium.
Millions of people benefited from the program that covered over sixty Percent of their Insurance Premiums. Nonetheless, it has stalled since 2010 due to the sheer magnitude of applicants. There has not been any positive response from Insurance Companies either. According to the survey, 60 Percent of the unemployed could not find affordable insurance in the past three years. Insurers turn down 35% due to their Financial Status and other reasons such as pre-existing conditions.
Because of loss of employment, the Health and Financial situation of many families is in jeopardy. Consider these chilling statistics:
- Over 70 Percent of uninsured Americans failed to fill prescriptions, missed Doctors appointments, ignored follow-up schedules, failed to take recommended medical tests and could not afford to visit specialist Doctors; due to lack of adequate health insurance coverage or the pure finances to incur the cost.
- The same Percentage of people cannot afford to settle medical bills on time, owe medical debts, receive calls often from Debt Collections Agencies because of overdue medical bills and have had to change their lifestyles to cater for Medical costs.
- Need to settle medical expenses forces 40 Percent of Uninsured Americans to sacrifice essential needs such as rent, electric bills, heating, Auto Insurance Premiums, and even food. 14 % have Credit Card debts while 9 Percent face foreclosure of their homes.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. The Affordable Care Act, part of the Health Reform Program assented in 2010. Unemployed Americans will have a gambit of options to choose from, if they find themselves uninsured due to job losses. These include; Medical Insurance Subsidies, expanded Medicaid Coverage, extended coverage under your parent’s Healthcare scheme and coverage for pre-existing conditions. Some of these laws are already in effect in some States, to the relief of Uninsured residents.
Despite the serious nature of the current situation, Government is tackling it from the top levels. Once the implantation of the Affordable Care Act is complete, unemployed Americans will have, other options to aid them receive decent Healthcare for their families.
Michael E. Dortch
President & Managing Agent
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446
(800) 807-0762 ext. 602