Report: Recession Led to Widespread Loss of Health Care Coverage
The number of uninsured U.S. adults increased by 5.6 million between 2007 and 2009, likely because of the recent recession, according to a new report published in the journal Health Affairs, Modern Healthcare reports.
John Holahan, director of the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center, wrote the report in collaboration with the Kaiser Family Foundation.
According to the report, the number of U.S. adults under age 65 with employment-based insurance fell from 164.2 million to 156.2 million between 2007 and 2009, primarily because of job losses and transitions from full-time to part-time work (Vesely, Modern Healthcare, 12/6).
During the same two-year period, the report found that:
- The percentage of children covered by employer-sponsored health plans declined, but the change was offset by enrollment increases in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program;
- More than 60% of the newly insured residents were white; and
- The largest percentage increase in uninsured residents occurred in the Midwest.
According to Holahan, the federal health reform law will address many of these coverage issues and could weaken the link between loss of employment and loss of health insurance (Fleming, "Health Affairs Blog," Health Affairs, 12/6).
On Monday, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Alliance for Health Reform hosted a panel discussion that coincided with the release of the Health Affairs report.
Kimberly BelshÃ©, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, participated as a panelist and discussed how economic conditions affect trends in health care coverage.
BelshÃ© also commented on the health reform law, noting that there are inconsistencies between what the law asks states to do, and what resources and technology states have to work with as they implement the overhaul (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 12/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.