Underinsured Rate Rose From 2014-2018, With Greatest Growth Among People in Employer Health Plans

More U.S. adults are underinsured compared to 2014, with the largest growth among people with job-based health plans. Twenty-eight percent of U.S. adults who have health insurance through their employer were underinsured in 2018, up from 20 percent just four years earlier. At the same time, people who bought plans on their own through the individual market or the marketplaces were the most likely to be underinsured, with 42 percent reporting a lack of adequate coverage in 2018.

U.S. working-age adults are significantly more likely to have health insurance since the ACA
became law in 2010. But the improvement in uninsured rates has stalled. In addition, more
people have health plans that fail to adequately protect them from health care costs, with the
fastest deterioration in cost protection occurring in employer coverage. Moving forward, it will
be essential to protect, and grow, the ACA’s coverage gains while also working to ensure people
with health insurance can get and afford the care they need

 Underinsured adults report having trouble affording their care:
    • Problems getting care: 41 percent of underinsured adults said they delayed needed care because of cost, compared to 23 percent of people with adequate insurance coverage.
    • Difficulty paying medical bills: Almost half (47%) of underinsured adults report medical bill and debt problems –nearly twice the rate as those who are not underinsured (25%).
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