Intended for healthcare professionals


Underinsurance threatens physical and financial wellbeing of US families

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 19 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1399
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1New York

A survey has found that one of every eight US adults is “underinsured,” causing many families to file for bankruptcy and forgo needed health care (Health Affairs 2008 Jun 10; doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.27.4.w298).

The survey of 2616 US adults, conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, a charitable organisation based in New York that promotes a “high performing healthcare system,” found that 42% of people aged 19 to 65 had either no health insurance or were underinsured in 2007—up from 35% in 2003 (Health Affairs 2005 Jun 14; doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.w5.289).

Respondents were defined as underinsured if they spent 10% or more of …

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