The Pennsylvania Insurance Department will allow health insurance companies to raise rates by an astounding 32.5% next year. On the heels of this news, we are jointly releasing Beyond Coverage: Putting People First in Pennsylvania's Healthcare System, a report we co-published with our partner Put People First! Pennsylvania. Beyond Coverage tells the story of Pennsylvania’s healthcare system through the voices and experiences of people across the state, many of whom will take to the streets of Philadelphia tomorrow in protest.
Last year, with help from NESRI, Put People First! PA members surveyed over 300 people in 43 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. The report combines data from these surveys with the personal stories of five courageous individuals to reveal the critical ways in which the state’s private, for-profit insurance system is failing to deliver the healthcare that people urgently need.
Our key findings include:
- Healthcare costs and access are major concerns in people’s lives. More than two-thirds of people we surveyed said that their healthcare needs are not being met by Pennsylvania’s healthcare system. Four out of five said that insurance rate increases in 2015 affected their lives, in many cases very seriously, and more than one in three said that in the last 12 months healthcare costs forced them to skip paying for basics like electricity and groceries.
- People can’t afford needed dental care. A third of people we surveyed had to forego dental care because of the cost, one in seven developed a more serious dental condition because they couldn’t get care, and one in ten had to take on debt.
- People want real change. Nearly everyone we surveyed said that they believe that healthcare is a human right and that Pennsylvania’s government has an obligation to fulfill that right. Four out of five people don’t feel they have a say in the state’s healthcare system today.
To read the report and find out more, visit our report page.