Must-read for US employers and lawmakers: 43% of working adults are functionally uninsured

Wendell Potter

Oct 5, 2022

The Commonwealth Fund has published a report that is a must-read for employers and lawmakers. If they read nothing else this year, this should be it.

The report is based on a recent survey of American adults to determine how many of us are adequately insured. You can read the full report here, but below are the highlights:

43% of working adults in this country were inadequately insured this year. They are, in essence, functionally uninsured...

Wendell Potter NOW


The Commonwealth Fund has published a report that is a must-read for employers and lawmakers. If they read nothing else this year, this should be it.


The report is based on a recent survey of American adults to determine how many of us are adequately insured. You can read the full report here, but below are the highlights:


  • 43% of working adults in this country were inadequately insured this year. They are, in essence, functionally uninsured.

  • 29% of us with employer coverage were underinsured.

  • 44% of us who buy coverage through the individual market or ACA (Obamacare) marketplaces were underinsured.

  • 46% of those surveyed said they had skipped or delayed care because of the cost.

  • 42% said they had problems paying medical bills or were paying off medical debt.

  • 49% said they would be unable to pay for an unexpected $1,000 medical bill within 30 days.

  • People with low incomes and people of color, regardless of whether they are covered by employer insurance or by an individual or marketplace plan, were underinsured at a higher rate than people with higher incomes. (That should surprise no one considering how insurers use high-deductibles as a blunt, one-size-fits-all “solution” to reduce the number of medical claims they pay.

  • Up to a fourth of people with chronic problems said they had not filled a prescription in the past year for their health care condition because of the cost.

  • Not only are insurers’ out-of-pocket requirements a huge barrier to care, but so is the ever-rising cost of health insurance. Premium costs are the main reason millions of Americans don’t buy coverage or drop their coverage. (As I wrote this week, the cost of health insurance increased more than 24% over the past 12 months.)


Read and download the full report at https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2022/sep/state-us-health-insurance-2022-biennial-survey