The American health care system is comprised of a patchwork of health insurance programs. In contrast to most other nations where the government finances health care for the majority of its residents, private, employer-sponsored insurance is the primary source of insurance in the United States, covering more than 60% of Americans. This system is costly and complex, resulting in a complicated array of players, including insurance companies, employer, and regulators. Insurance coverage also affects patients' interactions with the health care delivery system, particularly in terms of the providers they can see and the out-of-pocket costs they may spend. Furthermore, currently 50 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all. While national health reform will extend coverage to many of these individuals by 2014, many will remain uninsured until that time. This section provides data and information on the private health insurance sector, the uninsured population, and strategies for assisting the uninsured prior to the implementation of national health reform.