July 27, 2011

Don’t Have Health Insurance? It Could Kill You

By Robert Lewis, InsWeb.com

Living without health insurance can be deadly, according to a recent New York Times article.

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The article looked at a recent study by Families USA, a non-profit, non-partisan health care advocacy group.

What the study found is shocking: roughly 275,000 adult Americans will die over the next decade due to a lack of health insurance.

That is, if the current health care system remains unchanged.

Research has shown a strong correlation between lack of health insurance and increased risk of death. Those without health insurance are more likely to skip routine physicals and other preventive care, which means their medical issues advance until they are more difficult—and expensive—to treat.

Not surprisingly, the uninsured are also more likely to forego prescription drugs and routine surgeries.

Other findings from the study include:

  • 68 adult Americans under 65 die each day because they are uninsured; with the current system in place, that number will climb to 89 by 2019
  • Mortality rates for the uninsured are 25 to 40 percent higher than for those with coverage
  • Between 1995 and 2009, lack of coverage was the catalyst for almost 300,000 premature deaths

The article also stated an important fact: thousands of Americans, perhaps millions, experience a lower quality of life and poorer overall health because they lack of coverage.

Chronic fatigue, underactive thyroid, frequent sinus infections, severe arthritis, a fractured elbow that was never treated—these conditions won’t always result in death, but without treatment, they can make for an agonizing life.

Unfortunately, the economic recession has exacerbated the problem. Most Americans receive health insurance benefits through their employer, and high unemployment rates have left millions without coverage.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 50 million Americans are now without health insurance. That’s one in every six Americans.

If you or a family member need affordable health care, get an individual health insurance quote with InsWeb. It may be just the thing you need to find quality coverage you can afford.

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