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Lack Of Affordable Health Insurance Drives Up Individual Plans

Armen Hareyan's picture

Millions are purchasing individual health insurance policies as the family health insurance plans are not affordable for working families and small businesses.

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About 10.9 million Americans under age 65 bought individual health insurance policies in 2006, but just 7 million of them were covered for the entire year, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Those who were covered for only part of 2006 -- the most recent year for which statistics are available -- were covered for an average of six months, the agency said in a news release.

Most individual health policies are bought because purchasers can't get insurance from their employers, or they are unemployed, or they don't qualify for Medicaid or other public insurance plans, the AHRQ said.