Updated Resources About Uninsured

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Kaiser Family Foundation's Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured recently released four new and updated resources on trends affecting the uninsured:

* "The Decline in the Uninsured in 2007: Why Did It Happen and Can It Last?": The brief examines the primary causes for the shifts in health insurance coverage in 2007 and the implications of current economic problems.

* "Trends in Access to Care Among Working-Age Adults, 1997-2006": According to the brief, about 39 million adults nationwide in 2006 cited cost as a barrier to receiving essential health care, about one million annually since 1997.

* "The Uninsured: A Primer": The updated primer offers facts about the uninsured population in the U.S., including who the uninsured are, why people are uninsured, how insurance coverage has changed over time and how coverage makes a difference in people's lives.


* "Health Insurance Coverage in America, 2007": The brief provides simplified Web-based charts and tables reflecting the latest available data on the uninsured, and breaks out key data by age, gender, family income, family work status, industry, employer size, education, race/ethnicity, citizenship and health status (Kaiser Family Foundation release, 10/15).

Two new studies conducted by Sharon Long, a principal research associate and economist at the Urban Institute, examine how the Massachusetts health insurance law has affected uninsured people in the state. The research was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund.

* "Who Gained the Most Under Health Reform in Massachusetts?": The study finds that lower-income adults, young adults and minorities received the greatest gains in health insurance coverage as a result of the law. According to the study, uninsurance among males dropped by half and by one-third among females. Uninsurance among employees at small businesses fell by 10 percentage points, compared with a 3 percentage point drop among employees in larger firms, according to the report.

* "The Impact of Health Reform on Underinsurance in Massachusetts: Do the Insured Have Adequate Protection?": The study examines whether enforcing mandatory health insurance would force some individuals -- especially those with low incomes -- into plans that provide little financial protection. The study finds that reform efforts in Massachusetts are providing coverage for the uninsured and improving quality of coverage for those with coverage. In addition, the study finds that about 6% of insured adults in the state were uninsured in 2007, compared with 17% of total U.S. insured adults (Commonwealth Fund release, 10/16).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.