Who Are the Uninsured, and Why Are They Uninsured? Who Are the Uninsured, and Why Are They Uninsured?

By Antoniya Owens

In her book, Reinsuring Health: Why More Middle-Class People Are Uninsured and What Government Can Do, Katherine Swartz, Professor of Health Economics and Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, finds that the lack of health insurance is a growing problem for young adults, moderate income households, and skilled workers. This brief draws on her research to provide an overview of the characteristics of the uninsured population and how they have changed over time. The brief also highlights factors that have contributed to the growing numbers of uninsured adults, such as the decline in employment-based health insurance, the high premiums charged by individual and small-group market insurers, and the often confusing or cumbersome application and enrollment procedures.

This policy brief complements the Center's 2006 Research Report, Reaching the Goal: Expanding Health Insurance Coverage in New England Current Strategies and New Initiatives.

To review other Center research about health policy, please visit our research index.