More Insurance, Less Health Care?
A new report says that the number of Americans who are ‘underinsured’ is 31 million people – double the figure from 2003.
Being underinsured means that a person has access to health insurance, but doesn’t use it to get healthy because the cost is too high.
ObamaCare – with the popularity of its high deductible insurance plans – may make the problem worse.
“The steady growth in the proliferation and size of deductibles threatens to increase underinsurance in the years ahead,” says the Commonwealth Fund report.
“People who have high deductibles do tend to skimp on healthcare,” Sara Collins, the study’s lead author, said to reporters.
That’s because a trip to the doctor’s office can generate thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses before the insurance company contributes a penny.
The Obama administration has claimed a lot of credit for lowering the uninsured population, but has been unsurprisingly mum about the uptick in the number of underinsured Americans. If this trend continues, millions of people will be forced to pay for a financial product they cannot afford to use, but dare not risk going without since the IRS has the power to penalize.
That sounds like a policy opportunity conservatives would do well to exploit.
H/T: The Hill