NEW YORK – The percentage of working-age Americans with moderate to middle incomes who lacked health insurance for at least part of the year rose to 41 percent in 2005, a dramatic increase from the 28 percent in 2001 without coverage, a study being released today found.
Moreover, more than half of the uninsured adults said they were having problems paying their medical bills or had incurred debt to cover their expenses, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based private, health care policy foundation.
About 45.8 million Americans did not have health insurance in 2004, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The percentage of individuals earning less than $20,000 a year without insurance rose to 53 percent, up from 49 percent in 2001. Overall, the percentage of people without insurance rose to 28 percent in 2005 from 24 percent in 2001.
The study of 4,350 adults also found that 59 percent of uninsured with chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes either skipped a dose of their medicine or went without it because it was too expensive.