More Americans Becoming ‘Underinsured’ Due to High Health Insurance Deductibles


Health Insurance, what a great thing it is, sometimes!

Last Friday, we heard about a study that shows around 25 percent of people with health insurance have deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses so high, they are considered underinsured. Thanks to the Commonwealth Fund’s national health insurance survey for these facts from 2014.

Researchers at the Fund estimate that approximately 31 million insured Americans are now insufficiently protected against high healthcare costs.

What is the point of having health insurance if you can’t afford to use it because the deductibles are more than you can afford?

Deductibles were probably rising, before Obamacare, but if the new health insurance system didn’t fix that problem, what was the point of it? “The steady growth in the proliferation and size of deductibles threatens to increase underinsurance in the years ahead,” The Hill says the report warns.

Those people who purchase the lowest quality health coverage are less likely to see a doctor when they need it because they are afraid of the high out-of-pocket expenses.

“People who have high deductibles do tend to skimp on healthcare.” – Sara Collins, the study’s lead author.

50 percent of underinsured adults and 41 percent of privately insured adults with $1,000 or more deductibles have medical bills of $4,000 or more.

How affordable is that?

health insurance deductibles

So much for the Obama administration’s promise that millions of people would gain access to affordable healthcare under Obamacare. Note that this report does not even take into account those people who were uninsured before 2014.

So this bad news is about the people who were already insured before Obamacare!

The Obama administration has taken partial credit for something, though. According to The Hill, even though deductibles have increased, overall healthcare costs have not risen lately.

Some healthcare community professionals say this has nothing to do with the Obama administration, while others disagree.

Apparently, the rate of the numbers of underinsured has flattened out over the last several years. The Hill reports that the biggest increases in the underinsured population occurred between 2003 and 2010.

One more thing to blame on George W. Bush.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. His BS in journalism from University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.

Dwight has 30 years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. A native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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