Study: Unemployment Added 9.3 Million Adults To The Rolls Of The Uninsured

In yet another example of the problem with linking insurance coverage to employment, a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that “a one percentage point increase in the state unemployment rate is associated with a 1.67 percentage point (2.12%) reduction in the probability that men have health insurance.” “This effect is strongest among college-educated, white, and older (50–64 year old) men,” the research concluded. Similarly a “one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate is associated with a 1.37 percentage point (4.69%) higher probability that a child is covered by public health insurance.” And so based on those estimates, 9.3 million adults lost insurance “due to a higher unemployment rate alone during the 2007–09 recession.” The Affordable Care Act will mitigate this trend, as individuals, families, small businesses (and eventually larger businesses) will be able to find coverage in the exchanges.