(KCPW News) More Americans are living without health insurance. A new report released by the US Census Bureau shows nearly one million more Americans did not have any sort of health insurance coverage in 2010 compared to 2009. Utah Health Policy Project Executive Director Judy Hilman says it’s not surprising that nearly 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance because of the current to economic climate.
“Where you see the decline makes sense in the great recession,” says Hilman. “People especially of lower incomes are more likely to lose private market coverage, so the increase in uninsured is reflecting declines in private market coverage. ”
Hilman says despite an increase in the number of uninsured Americans, the report actually shows that health care reform is working because in a recession this bad, the numbers could be a lot higher.
“In a great recession you would normally see a dramatic increase in the uninsured rate,” Hillman says. “The fact that we haven’t speaks volumes to some of these early reform measures. It has a lot to do with young healthy adults staying on their parents coverage through age 26 and of course Medicaid and CHIP really being there as a safety net for children.”
Utah Health Policy Project is calling on state leaders to take a closer look at the high costs of health insurance. The Utah Department of Insurance 2009 Market Report states that the costs of individual premiums in Utah have more than doubled in the last 10 years.