Churn, Churn, Churn: How Instability of Health Insurance Shapes America's Uninsured Problem

November 1, 2003

Authors: Pamela Farley Short, Deborah R. Graefe, and Cathy Schoen

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Overview

A new analysis of health insurance coverage in America reveals a complex and troubling picture of insurance instability and gaps in coverage over time. Eighty-five million people, or 38 percent of the population under age 65, were uninsured at some point from 1996 through 1999, based on findings from a survey that followed people's health coverage for four years. The number of people who were uninsured during this period was more than double the number who were uninsured at any one point in time. It is also nearly double the 43.6 million mericans recently estimated to be without coverage in 2002.

Citation

Churn, Churn, Churn: How Instability of Health Insurance Shapes America's Uninsured Problem, Pamela Farley Short, Deborah R. Graefe, and Cathy Schoen, The Commonwealth Fund, November 2003