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How Many Are Uninsured?

In 2007, before we were hit by the credit crunch, the wave of foreclosures and the loss of jobs, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 47m people have no health insurance. That’s a rise of almost 5% as against the estimated number of uninsured made in 2005. So what does this actually mean? The results confirm that these people have no health insurance plan through their work (including the military) or union membership, and no access to federal or state programs including Medicare and Medicaid at any time during a twelve month period. This reflects a growing reality that the average employer no longer offers health insurance benefits. As a result, the statistics show 10.8% of whites, 15.5% of Asians, 20.5% of African -Americans, 34.1% of Hispanics were uninsured. It also confirms the sad reality that nearly 12% of children had no insurance in 2006. Now, ignoring the politics and focussing on the practical realities, there are two reactions. You can give up on the search for affordable health insurance and wait until the problem becomes sufficiently severe to justify treatment at your local emergency room. It is pointless making any judgemental comments about exposing yourself and others to the risk of more serious injury by delaying treatment.

If the premiums demanded by the health insurance industry are always going to be outside your budget, this is not your fault. If anyone or anything is to blame, it is the political system that permits a for-profit system to operate in the health market. Once you introduce the profit motive into any service, costs rise to maintain or maximise profits. Numbers in the accounts maintained by the hospitals and insurance companies do not translate into the faces of the children who are denied treatment. Most CEOs sleep well at night. Alternatively, you can use this site and others like it to get comparative quotes. Then use every legitimate way of reducing the quoted premiums. Start with a family plan because the cost per individual member is usually less than the cost of one policy per family member. You should also look at term insurance. The rates are usually less than for equivalent cover under a permanent policy. This means spending time actually talking with the health insurance companies and their agents.

Only when you talk to people and ask the right questions about discounts and the different types of plan and policy, do you begin to find something affordable. The more passive you are, the more impossible it becomes to get access to lower rates. As one of the middle class, you may come more easily to this process. But no matter what your background, you need to overcome your fears and start negotiating the best deal for your family. If this is too daunting, do not let pride get in the way. Ask at your local church or a charity for someone to help.

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