Assessing the Risk of Becoming Uninsured After Leaving a Job: A Look at the Data

This fact sheet examines the impact of unemployment on health insurance coverage by using data from 2004 to 2007 (before the current recession) to assess the increased risk of becoming uninsured among those who are no longer employed.

It finds that more than one-third of individuals who stopped working and left a job that previously provided them with employer-sponsored health insurance became uninsured for six consecutive months or more after leaving their job. By comparison, just 5 percent of those who were still working at the end of the survey period had been uninsured for six months or more. Individuals were more likely to be uninsured if they had worked for smaller businesses or had family incomes below twice the poverty level. Few who lost insurance were able to turn to Medicaid or other public coverage to remain insured due to limits on Medicaid coverage of childless adults as well as low income eligibility levels for parents.

Fact Sheet (.pdf)

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