Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why Everyone Needs Health Insurance

A new report shows just how big a problem the lack of health insurance turns out to be. Not only are the uninsured at risk of financial ruin, but so are their families. 

In 2012, more than one in four (27 percent) American families experienced a financial burden from medical care. "The family perspective is important to consider when examining financial risk because significant expenses for one family member may adversely affect the whole family," explains the National Center for Health Statistics in Financial Burden of Medical Care: A Family Perspective. "Health insurance coverage is one way for a family to mitigate financial risk associated with health care costs."

Among families in which all members have health insurance, 21 percent experienced the financial burden of medical care in the past year. Among families in which some are insured and some are not, fully 46 percent had a problem paying for medical care—meaning they had difficulty paying a medical bill, they currently have medical bills being paid over time, or they currently have medical bills they can't pay at all.

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