Study: 16M Americans Underinsured in 2003

June 14, 2005 ( - Some 45 million uninsured American adults don't have health insurance, and at least 16 million were underinsured in 2003, according to a new study.

A Commonwealth Fund news release said that the estimated 61 million with no insurance, sporadic insurance, or insurance that exposed them to catastrophic medical costs were at increased risk for not being able to obtain the quality care they needed.

According to the study:

  • Half of the underinsured and uninsured went without at least one of four needed medical services, double the rate of those with adequate insurance. Two-thirds of the sicker adults who were underinsured and three-fourths of sicker adults who were uninsured went without needed care.
  • levels of financial stress for the underinsured were almost equal to levels reported by the uninsured.

The study, “Insured But Not Protected: How Many Adults Are Underinsured?” was designed to assess the growing numbers of underinsured adults and how their lack of adequate coverage affects their health and finances, according to The Commonwealth Fund. The study is here .