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2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey

Country: United States

Survey Organization: Princeton Survey Research Associates International

Field Dates: July 14, 2010–November 30, 2010

Sample: A nationally representative sample of 4,005 adults ages 19 and older.

Sample Size: The report limits the analysis to respondents ages 19 to 64 (n=3,033). The survey has an overall margin of sampling error of +/– 1.9 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The landline portion of the survey achieved a 29 percent response rate and the cellular phone component achieved a 25 percent response rate.

Interview Method: The survey consisted of 25-minute telephone interviews in either English or Spanish and was conducted among a random, nationally representative sample of 4,005 adults ages 19 and older living in the continental United States. Because relying on landline-only samples leads to undercoverage of American households, a combination of landline and cell phone random-digit dial (RDD) samples was used to reach people, regardless of the type of telephones they use. In all, 2,550 interviews were conducted with respondents on a landline telephone and 1,455 interviews were conducted on a cellular phone, including 637 with respondents who live in a household with no landline telephone access.


Using data from the Commonwealth Biennial Health Insurance Survey of 2010 and prior years, this report examines the effect of the recession on the health insurance coverage of adults between the ages of 19 and 64 and the implications for their finances and access to health care. The survey finds that in the last two years a majority (57%) of men and women who lost a job that had health benefits became uninsured. Both insured and uninsured Americans struggled to pay medical bills and faced cost-related barriers to getting needed care. When fully implemented in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will bring relief: nearly all of the 52 million working-age adults who were without health insurance for a time in 2010 will be covered, most with subsidized premiums and reduced cost-sharing. No one who is legally present will have to go without insurance when they lose their job, and no one will be charged a higher premium because of a health problem, have a problem excluded from coverage, or be denied coverage.

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