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Even under the Affordable Care Act, many people are finding themselves uninsured and cite the high cost of insurance as the main reason they lack coverage. In 2016, 45% of uninsured adults said that they remained uninsured because the cost of coverage was too expensive.
Many people do not have access to coverage through an employer, and some people, particularly adults in states that did not expand Medicaid, remain ineligible for financial assistance for coverage. Some people who are eligible for financial assistance under the ACA may not know they are able to get help, and undocumented immigrants are ineligible for Medicaid or Marketplace coverage. The uninsured often face costly medical bills when they do seek care.
In 2016, uninsured adults were over twice as likely than their insured counterparts to have had problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months. These bills can quickly translate into medical debt since most of the uninsured have low or moderate incomes and have little, if any, savings. In 2008, the average employer-sponsored family plan cost a total of $12,680, with employees footing $3,354 of the bill, according to Kaiser data.
By 2016, the cost of the average employer family plan was up to $18,142 for the year, with workers picking up $5,277 of the tab.
* Source: Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, 1999-2008.
* Monthly premiums based on US national average.