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What happens if you can't afford to pay for health insurance premiums, and what are the consequences of not having coverage?

The average American has less than $400 in savings, which means many people would struggle to afford an unexpected expense, including health insurance premiums.

A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 27% of Americans will experience financial hardship in their lifetime, which includes not being able to pay medical bills.

There are more than 20 million Americans who are underinsured, meaning they are not covered for certain medical services or have inadequate coverage, which can lead to financial and health consequences.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits insurers from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, but it also prohibits insurers from denying coverage due to financial situation.

A report by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 79% of Americans do not have a 6-month emergency fund, which would cover 6 months of living expenses, including medical bills.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that 43% of bankruptcies in the United States are caused by medical debt.

A study by the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that patients with unpaid medical debt are more likely to delay or forego medical care, which can lead to deteriorating health.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows individuals to enroll in catastrophic plans, which have lower premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs.

The ACA also allows individuals to apply for Medicaid, which is a government-funded program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals.

A report by the Commonwealth Fund found that the number of uninsured Americans increased by 7.4 million between 2016 and 2019, mainly due to the repeal of the individual mandate penalty in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that in 2019, more than 12 million individuals enrolled in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace plans.

The ACA also expanded Medicaid, which has increased health coverage to low-income Americans, including children, pregnant women, and those with disabilities.

The HHS found that in 2019, over 90% of marketplace enrollees were receiving financial assistance, such as premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions.

A study by the Urban Institute found that Medicaid expansion states have seen a significant decrease in hospital readmissions and a reduction in hospital stays for patients with chronic diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals have some amount of savings in case of an emergency, including medical emergencies.

A study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 1 in 5 working-age adults have only 10% of their retirement savings dedicated to medical expenses.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) found that most workers are not contributing enough to Social Security and will not have enough Social Security benefits to cover their retirement expenses.

A report by the National Association of School Boards of Education found that more than 1 in 10 K-12 students are uninsured, despite having access to school-based health services.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) found that more than 60% of rural hospitals are struggling to stay afloat due to declining patient volumes and increasing administrative costs.

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) found that addressing social determinants of health, such as housing, education, and employment, is critical to reducing health disparities and improving health outcomes.

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