A little insurance isn't necessarily better than none,
according to a study from the Commonwealth Fund. Drawing from a survey
of 3,293 adults, the study found that 16 million adults were
underinsured in 2003, meaning their insurance did not adequately protect
them against catastrophic health care expenses. Underinsured adults are
almost as likely as the uninsured to go without needed medical care and
to incur medical debt. For example, more than half of the underinsured
(54%) went without needed care during the year, failed to fill a
prescription, or failed to visit a physician for a medical problem.
"An increase in the numbers of underinsured could undermine
effective care, health, and financial security--making it harder to
distinguish the uninsured from the insured," according to the
report. The study appeared as a Web-exclusive article in Health Affairs,
June 14, 2005.