Under Pressure: Rate of Underinsured Workers on the Rise


Although enrollment among employer-sponsored health plans had historically been declining, new data from the Kaiser Family Foundation now indicates an increase in such enrollment. This trend should be good for consumers, as higher enrollment in employer-sponsored plans could represent a correlation with more people joining the workforce and having access to more robust insurance plans. However, the findings from the Commonwealth Fund’s Biennial Health Insurance Survey indicate that, while the number of uninsured individuals in the U.S. is declining, employer-sponsored plans are offering less comprehensive coverage – leading to more people being underinsured. The Commonwealth Fund measures underinsurance by comparing out-of-pocket costs, premiums, and deductibles to household incomes. In 2003, only 9 percent of individuals were underinsured. By 2018, this number has risen to 23 percent. The rise in underinsurance rates could be due to health costs outpacing wage growth, indicating that Americans across the health care spectrum are feeling the pressure of rising health care costs. What can people do if they’re already working full-time and still getting priced out of the insurance market? It’s time for meaningful health insurance reform.


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