How a Gap in Health Insurance Coverage Affects Care

Margaret Dick Tocknell, June 6, 2012

As we continue to struggle to climb out of the recession, The Commonwealth Fund is in the process of taking a two-year longitudinal look at low- and moderate-income adults to see how the group fares in terms of access to health insurance and medical care.

Two reports have already been published and a third is coming this week. The takeaway from the first report in February: Low and moderate income adults who are insured have some of the same struggles as the uninsured. Among the problems was finding a physician to even take the insurance.

It seems that lousy insurance isn't necessarily better than no insurance.

The third report, which will be released on June 8, covers one of the most popular provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the one allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until age 26. The report is embargoed, so I can't write much now.

But last Friday's dismal jobs report helped me decide to write about the second report, which looks at what happens when Americans experience gaps in their health insurance coverage. Spoiler alert: nothing good.

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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