The demographics of the uninsured have changed to include many working families who can no longer afford health insurance. The cost of health insurance has increased radically over the past ten years. Both employee and employer are spending over 100% more (The Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust, 2011). Not having health care can impact individuals, families, and communities by decreasing physical, social, and mental health. Without prevention of disease and disability, or detection and treatment of health conditions, their quality of life decreases. Preventable death increases; life expectancy decreases (Healthy People 2020, n.d.).
People without health insurance often have poorer health status affecting their ability to work. They postpone treatment, only seeking medical attention at the last minute or when in crisis. This may lead to disastrous results for many uninsured individuals. The long-term effects can be catastrophic for the average family, not only medically, but financially as well. Eventually, this places an increased burden on hospitals that are left to treat ailments that might have been avoided with early detection and treatment. The public, in one way or another, must pay for these services forcing the costs of medical services and health insurances higher. (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2009).
The United States Census Bureau reports about 12% of the people in Johnson County are uninsured (United States Census Bureau, 2010). As workers are faced with high co-pays and deductibles, many cannot afford employer-provided health insurance. Several of these individuals are unaware of or not willing to use local safety net services that are provided by hospitals, federally qualified health centers, public health departments, faith-based clinics, free clinics and other independent clinics.
Because a recession has been in place for much of the last decade, household incomes are declining. The current poverty rate for the Town of Prince’s Lakes is 5.9% (United States Census Bureau, 2010). In addition, inflation, unemployment rates, and health insurance premium are rising, so the number of uninsured will escalate also. From 2000 to 2010, the number of Americans who are insured has decreased by 1.4% (Healthy People 2020, n.d.). In 2010, the United States Census Bureau estimates 12.7% of Johnson County’s residents are without insurance (United States Census Bureau, 2010). Furthermore, in 2000, the uninsured population in Johnson County was 9% (City-data, n.d.). So, in 10 years, the percentage for all its residents without insurance has increased approximately 4%.
Ages 18 to 64 have the overall lowest percentage of health insurance (Healthy People 2020, n.d.). They are at a greater risk for being without insurance due to many programs focusing on health care needs for children and seniors. In America, 21.4% are estimated to be uninsured, and in the state of Indiana, 20.4% of its occupants are projected...