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A study released today by the Commonwealth Fund found that 42% of Americans either are uninsured or underinsured.
According to the study, “More than half of the underinsured (53%) and two-thirds of the uninsured (68%) went without needed care—including not seeing a doctor when sick, not filling prescriptions, and not following up on recommended tests or treatment.”
The number of those underinsured has jumped as insurance rates have tripled for the average middle-class family. The study defined underinsured as those who must devote 10% of their income to the cost of health care or 5% of income for low-income families.
Even for families making $40,000 to $59,000 a year, the study found that the rate of those underinsured reached double digits last year.
Texas has the worst rate of uninsured citizens in the nation and pays some of the highest health insurance rates in the nation.
The issue is expected to be raised in the Texas Legislature as the Texas Department of Insurance undergoes sunset review. A coalition of religious and non-profit organizations has suggested reforms such as having rate oversight and strengthening the Texas Department of Insurance as well as the Office of Public Counsel.
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