TEXT OF STORY
Steve Chiotakis: As the debate over health care continues in the United States Congress, there’s a new survey that says the number of the uninsured will keep going up. Blame it on smaller employers getting rid of health plans and a tough individual insurance market. Jill Barshay reports.
Jill Barshay: Buying health insurance on your own is maddening. Lots of fine print, exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and the cost.
Sara Collins works at the Commonwealth Fund. It’s a nonpartisan health care foundation. She says the individual insurance market is getting worse.
Sara Collins: People who are buying their own health insurance are paying significantly more in premiums than people with employer-based coverage. But they’re getting a lot less for their money in terms of protection against high out-of-pocket costs and access to preventative care and other services that they need on a regular basis.
The Commonwealth Fund survey found 73 percent of people who tried to buy insurance on their own over the past three years ended up buying no insurance at all.
Collins says with many small businesses eliminating health benefits, the number of Americans without health insurance is sure to rise. Lawmakers agree the individual insurance market needs to change. They’re fighting over President Obama’s fix this week.
In New York, I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.