More than 70% of Americans who have private health insurance are either uninsured or underinsured, according to a new study.
And the US still doesn’t have an Obamacare replacement plan, with the Department of Health and Human Services saying it is working to make a proposal to Congress.
And despite a number of recent health care reforms, many experts believe that without some kind of universal coverage, the health care system will remain uncompetitive and that people will be forced to buy into costly insurance plans with high deductibles, copayments and co-payments.
That’s not good for anyone and particularly bad for the US economy, said Jeffrey Pfeffer, senior vice president of policy analysis at the Urban Institute.
The US spends more on health care than any other country, but with health care costs continuing to grow and the US not having a universal healthcare system, Americans are being left out of the loop.
In the meantime, there are plenty of things we can do, including encouraging employers to expand coverage, said Dr. Pfeffer.
“We should be working together to encourage employers to offer health insurance to their workers.
They’re not being forced to, and we should be encouraging them to do that,” he said.
What’s happening in this story?
Health insurance companies, in the midst of a big expansion in enrollment, are struggling to meet the rising demand for insurance.
Many states are seeing double-digit premium increases for individuals and families who don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.
In some states, premium hikes could reach $1,000 per year for individuals who make up to $40,000 a year.
Some insurers, including Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Humana and Aetna, have been forced to sell policies that don’t cover the high deductibility of their plans.
For many, the premium increases have been especially devastating, and in some states the price of their policies has skyrocketed.
More than two-thirds of Americans have been uninsured since the beginning of the year, according the Kaiser Family Foundation.
And according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, nearly 2 million people have been denied coverage in 2017.
The federal government is working on a number more proposals to help the health insurance industry, including expanding eligibility for Medicaid, creating a public option for insurance plans, and offering subsidies to help people afford coverage.
But experts say that none of those measures will necessarily lead to a more competitive health care marketplace.