A growing number of older adults are living without health insurance these days. The Obama Administration met with leaders of the health care and drug industries Monday about the issue.
A-A-R-P officials say those aged 50 to 64 are taking a hard hit due to shrinking employer-sponsored health coverage. They’re now the fastest growing group of uninsured. Thirty-six percent of that age group lost coverage between 2000 and 2007.
South Carolina A-A-R-P spokesman Patrick Cobb says 117,000 South Carolinians, or almost 15 percent of the population, are uninsured. “Some of these folks have been downsized, with the economy souring. The 117,000 number probably will increase. It’s just a baseline figure. We expect that figure to increase as the year goes on.”
Cobb says many of the uninsured adults are at small companies or are self-employed. Reports show that many middle-aged citizens who apply for individual health insurance are denied coverage or face high premiums based on age or pre-existing medical conditions.
Cobb says the insurance gap is the most important issue A.A.R.P. is currently working on. “A.A.R.P. would like to see in the health care talks occurring now that we guarantee accessible, affordable coverage to those between 50 and 64, because once they turn 65 they’re eligible for medicare.”
Nearly one in every five Americans will reach the 5o to 64 age range by 2015.