Raising Women’s Voices

The New Uninsured: Neither Rich Nor Poor

Posted in Affordability, Insurance companies, Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on February 3, 2009

At an Arlington free clinic, those who lack health insurance coverage or the means to pay for health care gather outside before the clinic opens, hoping for the chance to be seen.  The clinic has a lottery in place in which prospective patients receive care only if their number is drawn in order to deal with the limited space available and the growing number of individuals in need of care.   This group of individuals, described as ‘neither rich or poor’, do not qualify for public programs such as Medicaid, and cannot afford to pay high medical costs out of pocket.  COBRA, federal law that allows recently unemployed workers to access employer health insurance for 18 months is an option, but the high costs, which range can be up to $13,000 for family coverage and $4,700 for individuals,  leave it out of reach for many Americans.   As more individuals lose jobs and health coverage, the number of uninsured in on the rise, approaching 48 million.

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