When Unemployed Means Uninsured: The Toll of Job Loss on Health Coverage, and How the Affordable Care Act Will Help

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The Commonwealth Fund report  shows the unemployed are skipping out on important medical services and recommends Congress extend COBRA subsidies through 2014. The study found that 72 percent of people who have lost their employer-based health insurance didn’t fill prescriptions, get recommended tests, or see a doctor because of the high-cost barrier. The report cites other tough choices people make while struggling to pay their doctor’s bills such as:

  • 32 percent said they had used up all their savings while paying for medical services;
  • 27 percent said they sacrificed food or rent;
  • 14 percent ran up their credit cards; and
  • Nine percent took out a home mortgage or loan.

The report’s authors say the ACA will help people who have been laid off and lost their coverage through expanded Medicaid and federal subsidies for those who purchase insurance on the exchange.