Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
If you are among the 59.8 percent of Americans in 2004 that were lucky enough to have employer-sponsored healthcare benefits, consider this:
the number of Americans with work-related insurance has dropped for five consecutive years going from 70.4 percent in 2000 to 59.8 percent in 2004, and the number continues to drop.
In 2005, the cost of healthcare reached 1.9 trillion dollars (up from 655 billion in 1990) and is expected to reach 2.9 trillion in 2009. Since 2000, employers’ premiums have increased 73 percent. With the rising cost of healthcare, companies are reducing the quality of health benefits while increasing the cost of employees’ health insurance.
While your employer may still offer healthcare benefits, chances are they did increase the employees’ out-of-pocket expenses.
Sadly, many employers don’t offer healthcare benefits at all. According to a report by the National Academy of Sciences, 80% of uninsured children and adults under 65 live in working families. And what about the self-employed? Healthcare is becoming more costly, and more and more Americans are uninsured—the scale is moving fast and in both directions. So, even if you are confident about your current coverage, we still urge you to continue reading. You never know when the knowledge of the resources outlined herein will be of benefit to you or someone you know.
The Number of Uninsured People in America
The number of America’s uninsured is equivalent to the population of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arkansas, Hawaii and Alaska—and then some, which means it doesn’t take a Nielsen ratings guru to deduce that with 45.8 million uninsured Americans a “Who Wants to Marry a Well Insured American” reality show would be a bona fide success. The number of uninsured Americans grows at an alarming rate, in 2000 there were 39.8 million uninsured people in the US and in 2005 six million more people joined this undesirable club, according to data from the US Census Bureau.
While 176.6 million workers and their dependents received health coverage through the workplace in 2001 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rising cost of healthcare has made private insurance a financial challenge for those without workplace insurance, such as students, the self-employed, unemployed, and homemakers. The number of uninsured in this country does not reflect the number of underinsured citizens, nor the number who are temporarily on COBRA. If you don’t have insurance, and do not ask for discounts, or join networks, you will pay out thousands more. Such situations lead to ruined credit, which can affect future employment, jeopardize your assets, health, personal and financial success, and self-worth.
What is even sadder is that most people are not aware of the free resources available to help them gain the prescriptions and healthcare needed to live healthier, longer lives.