Nearly 6 in 10 Americans Encounter Problems with Heath Insurance: Report
Health Care

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans Encounter Problems with Heath Insurance: Report

Nearly six in 10 U.S. adults reported having at least one problem with their health insurance in the past year, according to a new analysis from the healthcare policy foundation KFF.

KFF, a nonprofit group formerly known as the Kaiser Family Foundation, conducted a survey of 3,605 U.S. adults with health insurance about their experiences, with 58% reporting at least one problem with their coverage in the past year. “People reported frustrations with their health insurance no matter if they get coverage through their employer, a marketplace plan or a public payer,” The Washington Post’s Rachel Roubein noted.

The insurance system provides all kinds of barriers. “People report an obstacle course of claims denials, limited in-network providers, and a labyrinth of red tape, with many saying it prevented them from getting needed care,” said Drew Altman, KFF’s chief executive. Of those who experienced problems with coverage, 17% could not get recommended care, another 17% encountered delays in care and 15% reported a decline in their health because of the problem.

Respondents also dealt with confusion and affordability concerns with their insurance. Half reported some level of difficulty understanding their insurance. “The consequences of care delayed and missed altogether because of the sheer complexity of the system are significant, especially for people who are sick,” Altman said. Four in 10 adults said they skipped medical care because of cost, and one in six said they had trouble paying their medical bills.

“This survey shows it’s not enough to just get a card in your pocket — the insurance has to work or it’s not exactly coverage,” Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at KFF, told The New York Times.

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that Rachel Roubein works for The Washington Post.