Despite assertions that the recession is ending, many Americans are still out of work and continue to have trouble finding employment. Since 2000, a steady increase in unemployment has contributed to a lack of employer-sponsored insurance coverage. Without health coverage, many have difficulty accessing needed medical care including prescription medicines.
The national unemployment rate is uncharacteristically high at nearly 10%, and has been for more than a year. Minority populations struggle the most, with over 15% of the African American population and over 12% of the Hispanic population currently unemployed. Data suggest that the high unemployment rate means an increase in uninsured individuals.
Without employer-based insurance coverage, many uninsured patients lack access to a medical home and ultimately forego preventative health care measures, which are critical to maintaining good health.