“Barely Hanging On”

Study finds that middle-class Americans are losing their healthcare coverage.  Middle-class Americans are losing their healthcare insurance at a faster rate than other income earners. This finding was reported in “Barely Hanging On”, prepared by the University of Minnesota’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center.  The report was commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of its yearly Cover the Uninsured Week and analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the study, three million fewer middle-income Americans had healthcare insurance provided by their employers in 2008 when compared with 2000.  Two-thirds of families earning between $45,000 and $85,000 a year were insured by their employers in 2008, a seven percent drop from 2000.

The study also found that costs had risen 81 percent between 2000 and 2008.  During the same timeframe, household incomes fell 2.5 percent.  Additionally, fewer workers were offered or could afford employer-provided coverage.

“America’s uninsured crisis means that hard-working people with average incomes are being squeezed,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s president and CEO.  “The fallout from rising health insurance costs hits everyone.”

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