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Economic Pressures Lead Some Uninsured To Stop Medications

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger on Wednesday examined how some U.S. residents who cannot afford health insurance are reducing the amount of medications they take or cutting doses, as well as seeing the doctor less frequently, to save money.

A survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners showed that 11% have skipped doses or stopped taking medications altogether because of financial reasons and that 22% have reduced doctor visits.

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According to Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, "Mississippi is probably worse off than you see on the national level," adding, "We have more people on the poverty level or on fixed incomes than most states," which "forces them to make decisions about buying life-sustaining drugs or quality-of-life drugs versus paying the light bill and buying groceries."

Many people are uninsured because employers such as small businesses and not-for-profit agencies have difficulty providing workers with adequate insurance, the Clarion-Ledger reports (Pettus, Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 8/27).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.