A total of 42 percent of Americans are uninsured or underinsured.

July 18, 2008

A total of 42 percent of Americans are uninsured or underinsured.

The ranks of patients who have health insurance, but just not enough of it, have swelled 60 percent since 2003, to 25 million in 2007. As healthcare costs continue to soar and incomes fail to keep pace, a total of 42 percent of Americans now find themselves either uninsured or underinsured. From 2000 to 2007, health insurance premiums have risen 91 percent, compared to just a 24 percent increase in wages. The result has been less-generous benefits and higher out-of-pocket costs for patients, which have caused many of them to forgo necessary care or medications. The new data, from the Commonwealth Fund, was published in the June 10 online edition of Health Affairs.