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Being uninsured versus underinsured

As Monday's deadline to sign up for health insurance or face a penalty approaches, there's plenty of attention on the uninsured. But how about the underinsured? 

Nearly 32 million people were underinsured in 2012, meaning they had insurance but that it wasn't robust enough to protect them from major medical costs, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund

The figures are from before individuals could buy insurance on Affordable Care Act exchanges, but some say the problem persists. 

Suzy Jeffreys, who runs the North-by-Northeast Community Health Center in Portland, Ore., says often the patients who don’t qualify for *Medicaid choose the next cheapest healthcare option.

*CORRECTION: A previous verions of this article misstated that patients who didn't qualify for Medicare, instead of Medicaid, were seeking other healthcare options. The text has been corrected.

 

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