Disparities in Health Insurance in the Wake of the Great Recession

Amy Steinweg, U.S. Census Bureau

Health insurance coverage is critical to accessing health care, yet disparities exist in coverage rates across the population. Coverage losses in the wake of the Great Recession may have further deepened these preexisting disparities. This paper uses the 2008 Panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation to evaluate the risk of health insurance loss between August 2008 through December 2011, relative to many socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Results indicate that coverage loss was more likely among many of the groups with the lowest initial coverage rates. These findings suggest that closing socioeconomic disparities in coverage rates is more salient than ever. Closely monitoring expansion of coverage among these more disadvantaged groups will be necessary to evaluate the impact that increased enrollment has on these preexisting disparities.

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 Presented in Session P5. Adult Health and Mortality