Job losses during the recession and rising costs have caused the number of uninsured Americans to swell to 52 million in 2010 and resulted in an estimated 75 million people delaying or forgoing care, according to a report from The Commonwealth Fund.
The report examines the effect of economic downturn on the health insurance coverage of adults between the ages of 19 and 64 and the implications for their finances and access to health care. Health Day reports:
The problem of the uninsured in the United States has been getting worse. During 2010, some 52 million Americans went without health insurance, compared to 38 million in 2001, the survey revealed.
The hardest hit were adults with family incomes of less than $22,050 for a family of four (54 percent of whom were uninsured) and those with family incomes between $22,050 and $44,100 (41 percent of whom were uninsured). Among those with higher incomes, only 13 percent had no coverage during 2010, the researchers noted.
As health care costs continued to climb, both insured and uninsured had trouble affording care, the report states. In fact, an estimated 75 million Americans skipped doctor visits, prescriptions and recommended tests or treatments in 2010 because of costs. That's up from 47 million in 2001, the researchers noted.
The data was collected during a phone survey of a nationally representative sample of 3,033 adults between July and November 2010.