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New study: 57.2 million Americans Have a Pre-Existing Condition

Findings from a new Families USA report indicate that nearly 23% of Americans under 65 have been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition and would be at risk of being denied coverage in the individual market. The attached chart from the report indicates that the threat is present for every age group; the study goes on to illustrate a similar effect for every income, race, and ethnic group, as well. This widespread vulnerability was one of the most convincing arguments for health reform, increasingly so with an eroding employer-sponsored insurance system.

The $5 billion for high-risk pool wills be available in the coming months for the most high-risk uninsured individuals with pre-existing conditions, and insurers have already agreed to immediately remove pre-existing condition exclusions for children up to age 18 (the bill mandates this by September 2010). And in 2014, exclusions like this will finally become a thing of the past in the United States when every American will be able to purchase affordable insurance through the Exchanges, guaranteeing coverage regardless of health status.