Families USA is out with a new report on the number of those under 65 years of age who have a diagnosed pre-existing health condition. Ron Pollack is the Executive Director for Families USA and says the number of people with pre-existing conditions is on the rise.
“The total number of people under 65 years of age who have a diagnosed pre-existing health condition is 57.2 million people. These are people under 65 years of age. That 57.2-million people constitutes more than one out of five, almost one out of 4 non-elderly people. It is 22.4% of the non-elderly population.”
Pollack says this number is for those with diagnosed pre-existing conditions.
“For somebody, say who is uninsured or under insured because of their insurance status doesn’t go to get tests may have preexisting conditions but they have not been diagnosed. So, those numbers we are providing you today is an understatement of how widespread this phenomenon is with people with preexisting conditions but it is the best data available.”
Statistics for Nebraska show that 351,000 people under the age of 65, almost one in four of Nebraska’s non-elderly population have a diagnosed pre-existing condition that could lead to a denial of coverage in the health insurance market. Pollack says there are over 57-million people nationwide who could potentially face discriminatory health coverage practices.
“Millions of people with diagnosed health conditions and many others who at some point that may receive such a diagnosis are the people in most need of health care coverage. Thankfully, the new health care reform legislation will protect these people from the most harmful insurance company abuses that refuse such critical coverage.”
Pollack explains that people with no insurance often have no other choice but to visit an emergency room when they become ill. Those costs usually have to be absorbed by the hospital and that means those with insurance make up the difference.
“Two years ago, the average add-on for family coverage to pay for the uncompensated health care costs of the uninsured was over one-thousand dollars. It averaged $1,017.”
The Families USA report includes a breakdown of statistics for Nebraska.
Nearly one in six of young adults ages 18 to 24 have a diagnosed pre-existing health condition that could lead to denial of coverage. More than one-third of adults ages 45 to 54 have a diagnosed pre-existing health condition that could lead to denial of coverage. In the 55 to 64 age group, the portion of adults with diagnosed pre-existing conditions climes to more than two in five or 45.4-percent. There are also 32,300 children in Nebraska with such conditions as well.
Pollack goes on to say that almost one-fourth of the non-elderly population of the state will gain protections they need to secure affordable health care coverage.
For more information and a break-down state by state, go to www.familiesusa.org.