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Lack of Proper Health Care Coverage Plagues Nearly 46 Million Americans

This information is released in an effort to raise awareness of the uninsured and underinsured population in this country in conjunction with National Cover the Uninsured Week, May 1 through 7, 2006.

One in seven Americans is going about daily life with no health care insurance. These Americans gamble every day, that they won’t get sick, that they won’t have a serious accident. Often, they have no choice but to take that gamble. As the cost of health care coverage continues to rise, fewer families can afford the insurance premiums and fewer small businesses can offer coverage to their workers.

Nearly 46 million Americans are uninsured, and this group lives sicker and dies younger than those who are insured.

During Cover the Uninsured Week, which will be held May 1 through 7, 2006, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in conjunction with the American Hospital Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and other coalition members are charging the public with the task of speaking out about the lack of sufficient health care insurance coverage for every American.

Atlantic General Hospital is sensitive to the plight of its underinsured or uninsured patients and offers financial counseling to anyone who is struggling to pay a medical bill. In addition to exploring the possibility of receiving private funding or family assistance, Atlantic General’s financial counselors can establish a payment plan to fit a patient’s budget.

The hospital’s counselors also help patients determine if they qualify for public assistance through Medicaid, the Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP) that is offered through the county health departments, or the Maryland Health Insurance Plan (MHIP) and then guide them through the application process.

“We recognize that everyone needs healthcare, not just the insured,” said Mickey Griffen, director of Patient Financial Services. “Our financial counselors do everything they can to help patients who are truly unable to pay their bills.”

“Cover the Uninsured Week is important because it’s an effort that raises awareness of a growing nation-wide problem, and it also educates the uninsured about the low- and no-cost insurance options that are currently available.”

For additional resources for the uninsured, visit and click on the state of Maryland under State Guides.