BUSINESS

Study: 23 pct of US adults with health coverage underinsured

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults who were insured all last year lacked adequate protection from big medical bills based on their income, according to Commonwealth Fund research.

The nonprofit foundation estimates that about 31 million people between the ages of 19 and 64 were underinsured due in part to the out-of-pocket expenses they have to pay for care. That includes deductibles, or payments a patient has to make before most coverage begins.

Insurers and employers who offer coverage have been raising deductibles for years as they try to contain premiums, or the price of insurance coverage. That passes along more of the bill for care to patients.

Commonwealth found that 51 percent of the underinsured had problems paying medical bills or were paying off debt over time.