Changes in Health Insurance Status over a Two-Year Period

The ability to maintain health insurance in the face of rising costs and an uncertain economy is a key concern for families and featured prominently in the health reform debate. While the percentage of the population without coverage at any one time changes by only a relatively small amount over a one- or two-year period, the percentage of people who start out with coverage and lose it for a meaningful amount of time during the same period can be much larger. Lapses in coverage affect millions of Americans and contribute to the worries that many have about their financial and health security.

This brief by Kaiser Family Foundation researchers presents information about changes in health insurance status for adults age 18 to 64 with coverage in January 2006 and shows their health insurance status through December 2007. It also presents the alternative, examining gains in coverage over the two-year period among those that began the period uninsured.

Issue Brief (.pdf)


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