Got coverage? Many do not.

umbrella

Losing your job is difficult enough, but losing health insurance doubles the catastrophe. In the past year, nearly 2 million jobs were lost in the United States, and with them, many employer health insurance benefits.

Now, the latest trend is that small businesses across the country are pulling health insurance for employees.


A Kaiser Family Foundation study examined the impact on the newly unemployed and their families.

(Read a previous story about surviving with no benefits.)

There are alternatives, of course. Some of the newly unemployed will use COBRA to fill the gap between jobs, and others will look into individual plans. But according the the Kaiser Family Foundation, half of those looking for work last year did so with no health insurance at all. (Check out the options. You have very few.)

Further surveys by Kaiser found that more people are postponing health care and the filling of prescriptions; putting off elective surgeries and diagnostic tests; and even cutting dosages of medicines, all in an effort to save money.

– By Pete Corson


Do any of these tactics sound familiar? Are you trying to get along without health insurance? How are you surviving?

19 comments Add your comment

taxpayer

February 4th, 2009
8:55 am

How many of those who choose not to afford health care choose to afford cell phones, cable/satelitte TV, lap top computers, blue ray technology, and other “necessities” in our creature-comfort driven culture?

Sugar

February 4th, 2009
8:58 am

To me, insurance of any kind, is a legalized scam. You pay and pay and pay for coverage, then when you need it, suddenly you are a high risk and your rates go skyrocketing.

I know ALOT of people, due to the cost, that do not have health insurance. Thankfully, my company pays 100% of our employee health insurance, not just for us, but for our entire family!!!!

I am very thankful to be employed full time, with 100% of my insurance paid for.

Doris

February 4th, 2009
10:07 am

You people who think the free market is going to take care of this situation, forget it!!! This is an issue that has to be addressed!! Taxpayer, someone faced with 1000+ per month premium is not gonna be able to pay it if they forgo a 100 cable and cell phone bill. Most people I now without health insurance don’t have “blue ray technology”. I think cable is a total rip off and would never pay for it, however, I don’t see how forgoing it is gonna get anyone health insruance.

hudson rouse

February 4th, 2009
10:22 am

Yes. the attrition rate of uninsureds in Georgia does not help our premiums either. if you would like to talk to on of our experts please call 404-378-0015

reservoirDAWG

February 4th, 2009
10:38 am

Sugar, “insurance of any kind is a scam.” That may be the most uneducated statement I’ve ever read. If you own a home and it burns down have fun sleeping in a tent next to the remains. As far as healthcare, which is not my field, it is the uninsured that are causing premiums to increase.

bellle

February 4th, 2009
11:21 am

I can’t ever remeber my father making real $$$$. We never went hungry, but when we went shopping for clothes, it was K-mart or the thrift store. I do know that health insurance was never an issue. When we got sick, we went to the doctor and occassionally the emergency room. What can I say, growing up in a family with 4 kids means somebody is going to get hurt.

I was the first one in my father’s family to graduate from college. I have a technical back ground, military experience and skills that I’ve been told are needed. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I am doing better than my parents. In fact, my standard of living and my wages have decreased in the last decade. Last year I was laid off, a first for me, along with everone else in by department. I took the first job I could get and by the time I passed the probationary period, group health indyrance was no longer available. Funny how they never tell you that during the interview. I now have a private policy that doesn’t cover any pre-existing conditions.

Do you know anybody over 40 who doesn’t have a pre-existing condition? I now find myself not going to the doctor because insurance won’t cover it. My prescriptions which I only took when I could afford them have expired and since I can’t afford to see the doctor………..

BTW I paid cash for my car. I have one television that cost $200 when it was bought 2 years ago.

droz35

February 4th, 2009
11:24 am

I agree the health insurance market is rough..Going without should be a last resort. The reason the rates go up every year is due to medical costs, and when the uninsured go to the hospital, taxpayers pay for those costs. If you have a condition going on before you get individual coverage, most likely it will be excluded. If someone has credit card debt with visa, they can’t expect mastercard to pay for it if they get a new mastercard. The government needs to step in on pre existing conditions, and not make the insurance companies take the wrap like they are trying to do now. If they are successful, we are looking at almost every carrier folding, more job cuts, and a socialized health care system. Being we are Americans, I don’t think anyone will stand waiting 6 months for a surgery like they do in other countries, then we will be going to Mexico for treatment just like Canadians come here for theirs in many cases. It’s 30 years of mismanagement catching up to us in a big way now, unfortunately.

Eric

February 4th, 2009
11:37 am

To Taxpayer: the reality is that computers are now a necessity in order to get a job. rarely can you talk to or meet with anyone in person. As for myself, I do not buy other “luxuries” nor can I afford health insurance. So much of my paycheck goes to keep in car in order. I worked at Kroger full-time recently and was told I would not be offered health insurance until after 7 months of employment. outrageous! so much for taking care of the employee. why should I be a dedicated worker to that?

Sharon

February 4th, 2009
11:47 am

Complain all you want but to let the government take over healthcare is a big mistake we will all learn to hate quickly. It will turn right into the VA mess and the Medicare problems. Government is not equiped to take care of this and it will ruin the medical care this country has so long enjoyed.

People need to take resonsibility for themselves. Medical savings accounts have been available for ever. One can put money in and if something happens that your are out of work for a time you still have this to fall back on. Nope people would rather complain and take trips and call for the government to help. I for one am tired of helping the lazy welfare bums or even the workers who spend every penny they make and then when trouble hits its my fault and I should help you. Get off your buts and help yourself. Its your problem to take care of yourself not mine.

I do not make 100K per year, not even close. I have car payment that I make and a mortgage every month. I dont have a expensive cell phone nor headphones for it. What I do have is a bank account set so that if I lose my job I have one years payments put away. Yes one year. And I have a little over 6K in a health savings plan. It will stay there and if I lose my job due to economy I can go to the doctor and pay for prescriptions out of it. Yes for a hospital stay I am out, but you know what? I am trying and doing the best I can. Not like a lot of you who are now crying that your bluetooth cant be paid for. Give me a break.

Pamela

February 4th, 2009
11:55 am

**Insurance Companies (both dental and health) are a big rip off! It’s like some other bloggers already pointed out..you pay into them for years on-end, but when you need them they want to bail out on you! Dental coverage is the REAL SCAM!!!** Insurance coverage should be free for everyone in the U.S.A. that’s an American Citizen!

droz35

February 4th, 2009
11:56 am

Sharon is right. With u there.

droz35

February 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

If we want free insurance, then be ready to pay 55-60% taxes, nothing is free! Taxes would double in the next 2-5 years! No one thinks of that.

bellle

February 4th, 2009
4:09 pm

Perhaps they do the math and calculate that with what were are paying for insurance and co-pays/deductibles it makes financial sense.

maybe

February 4th, 2009
4:12 pm

The Cost of State-Based Universal Health Care Coverage.

Waters T, Budetti P, Perloff L; AcademyHealth. Meeting (2004 : San Diego, Calif.).

Abstr AcademyHealth Meet. 2004; 21: abstract no. 985.
University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Center for Health Services Research & Dept. of Preventive Medicine, 66 N. Pauline Street, Suite 463, Memphis, TN 38163 Tel. 901.448.5826 Fax 901.448.8009

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: To analyze costs and cost savings associated with various state-level options for universal health care coverage. STUDY DESIGN: Data for the state of Illinois are used to examine reform options. A model of current state health expenditures was developed as a baseline. Four general reform options were postulated and the financial impacts of these changes derived using existing data and databases. POPULATION STUDIED: The population and expenditure patterns of individuals in Illinois. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using decision analysis models, we find that expanding coverage to all residents of Illinois would cost between $2.2 and $4.5 billion in the first year, but that incremental costs would diminish in subsequent years under the single payer approaches, principally due to savings in insurance overhead and administrative costs. By the 5th year of implementation, single payer models providing universal coverage would cost less than the current health care system with 1.7 million uninsured. Using probabilistic sensitivity analyses to allow key parameters to vary simultaneously, we find that single payer reforms are a least-cost strategy in more than 90 % of Monte Carlo iterations by the 8th year of implementation. CONCLUSIONS: State-level reforms appear to be a financially-viable option for attaining universal health care coverage. IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY, DELIVERY OR PRACTICE: The cost savings associated with single payer models are too significant to be ignored. Policies and programs that seek to capture these savings could significantly curb health care cost inflation and produce sufficient additional funding to provide coverage for the uninsured.

Rupali

April 27th, 2009
11:41 am

As a physician, I am very worried about the increasing loss of health insurance that my patients are enduring. They are avoiding necessary medications, treatments, and procedures. They are being admitted to the hospital instead of controlling chronic conditions as outpatients, leaving the hospitals and taxpayers to foot the (much higher) bills. Patients often must change their primary care provider when their insurance stops or changes, leading to redundant testing and increased costs. The government must be involved in shaping the health care coverage industry in the U.S., because if not, we leave ourselves to the mercy of profit-driven corporations. Many physicians in the U.S. support a public health insurance option and universal health coverage.

Fullu

June 18th, 2009
9:24 pm

Because of the trickery and greed of the health insurance companies and other insurers, we the people are suffering while they take our premiums and laugh all the way to the bank, both organizations ripping us citizens as they go along. They find devious ways to deny us coverage and care.

Come Sailaway

August 6th, 2009
9:47 pm

The documentary “Sicko” describes the health care crisis in the united states. Mix it with the outsourcing of jobs and many people in their 50’s unemployed, no insurance, etc. and it is what it is. This country has a Facist government like Hitler. Facism is a government not controlled by the people. The US & our government is clearly controlled by corporations. As long as this continues, our country will continue to deteriorate to a rich and poor class of people only. The insurance companies have successfully controlled our government in the past 60 years, and the people in gov with their secure jobs, doing little until they are 80 or near dead get the best of health care, so why would they change that?

Come Sailaway

August 6th, 2009
9:53 pm

Forgot to state that the health care systems in England, Canada, France are FAR better than what is in the US and they are government controlled – socialism. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT???
You’ll hear all sorts of lies about not getting care or long waits of 3 months, etc. Most of it is propaganda from the insurance companies. Sure there is cases like this but OVERALL most canadians, britains are happy with the health care system they have. Most americans aren’t.

?

September 28th, 2009
5:57 pm

Why is there someone named “hudson rouse” on here asking us to call one of his “experts” ? He cannot even write a proper sentence! Is anyone dumb enough to just land on a blog and call a number like that, belonging to someone who can’t capitalize or use punctuation? Why is advertising allowed on here? This is a serious topic! That is tacky, very tacky. Now we know who to NOT call !