Report: 25% of Working-Age Americans Went Without Health Insurance in 2011

One in four working-age Americans experienced a gap in health insurance coverage last year, according to a recent Commonwealth Fund report.

Of those adults who went without insurance, 70 percent had been uninsured for more than a year and 57 percent for more than two.

The report, complied using data from a survey of more than 2,000 adults, concluded that those who did not have health insurance were less likely to receive preventive care and crucial screenings. For instance, women between the ages of 40 to 64 who went without insurance for more than a year were nearly three times less likely to have received a mammogram in the past 24 months than women with no gap in coverage.

"For people who lose employer-sponsored coverage, the individual market is often the only alternative, but it is a confusing and largely unaffordable option," said Commonwealth Fund Vice President Sara Collins, lead author of the report. "As a result, people are going a year, two years, or more without health care coverage, and as a result going without needed care."

The report also found that nearly 50 percent of young adults ages 19 to 25 are staying on parent's health insurance plans — a provision in the PPACA allows for it. However, young adults who remain on parent health insurance plans are more likely to have come from higher-income households.

Beginning 2014, the PPACA will expand Medicaid and require states to established subsidized health insurance exchanges, providing alternative health insurance options for uninsured Americans. That's if the Supreme Court upholds the healthcare law.

More Articles on Commonwealth Fund Research:

Study: Consumers Would Have Saved $2B if PPACA Took Effect in 2010
Commonwealth Fund: Increased Use of Primary Care Services Can Reduce Medicare Costs
Study Shows Significant Variation in Costs, Quality and Access Across Communities

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