Skip navigation to content
eriu: Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured Initiating and disemminating research to spark new policy discussion on health coverage issues.
Fast Facts  
Funded Research Home

      Sort by Author (A-Z)
      Sort by Topic
            Research Highlights
            Research Findings


      Costs of Health Insurance
      Demand for Health Insurance   
      Employment-Based Coverage
      Labor Markets
      Near Elderly Population
      Vulnerable Populations
      Welfare, Medicaid, and SCHIP

Find a Document

      Research Highlights
      Research Findings
      Working Papers
      Q & A with the Author
      Conversations with       Economists

Home > Funded Research Home > Summaries > Research Highlights

ERIU Research Highlights

ERIU produces research highlights based on a subset of its funded research. The intent of these is to provide various policy audiences with up-to-date research findings on relevant topics.

Project Author
DeLeire, Thomas Research Highlight 13: Decline in Private Coverage Drives Uninsured Rate for Less-skilled Women
Women lacking a high school diploma are among the most likely group of Americans to be without health insurance. According to a new study by Thomas DeLeire and colleagues, these less-skilled women are twice as likely to be uninsured as women who complete high school, and more than three times more likely to lack coverage than female college graduates. Contrary to what is often assumed, however, welfare reform did not drive coverage rates down for most lower-skilled women. Although welfare recipients were more likely to lack coverage following PRWORA, welfare reform actually had a small positive effect on coverage trends for less-skilled women who had not received welfare benefits prior to reform. 7/07  
Kuttner, Hanns Research Highlight 12: Job Churning's Impact on Workplace Health Insurance (PDF) (HTML) In an economy where health insurance most often has ties to a job, a dynamic labor market implies changes in health insurance coverage. New research by economists Hanns Kuttner and Catherine McLaughlin from the Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured (ERIU) shows that job changers are less likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance in their own name. Only one of four job endings involves a worker with health insurance from the job left or lost. This research also illustrates that, among uninsured adults, job changes are the leading reason why adults become uninsured. 10/06  
LoSasso, Anthony Research Highlight 11: Jobs Lacking Coverage Biggest Reason for Immigrants' Low Insured Rates (PDF) (HTML) While immigrants are nearly three times more likely to be uninsured than native-born U.S. citizens, new research shows that immigrants are just as likely to take-up offers of health insurance from their employers. Furthermore, immigrants who work in firms offering health insurance are just as likely to be eligible for that coverage as other workers. The significant difference in coverage rates between U.S. natives and immigrants is explained mainly by the types of jobs immigrants hold and personal characteristics that affect coverage. Policies should focus on employers who are not offering coverage rather than on immigrants per se. 3/06 Abstract
Chernew, Michael Research Highlight 10 : Rising Health Care Costs Frustrate Efforts to Reduce Uninsured Rate (PDF) (HTML) The number of people without health insurance in the United States could rise by 8 million people during the next decade if health care costs continue to increase at the rates they have in recent years. Despite the robust economy during much of the 1990s, health care spending and the average cost of a health insurance premium increased by more than 50 percent, while the percentage of people with health insurance declined steadily. Unless policies address the rising cost of health care and health insurance, it will become increasingly difficult to reduce the number of uninsured people in the United States. 12/05 Abstract
Monheit, Alan Research Highlight 9 : How Preferences and Attitudes Shape Health Insurance Decisions (PDF) (HTML) Concerted efforts to extend offers of private or public health insurance coverage to uninsured people often yield mixed results, with lower-than-expected numbers of individuals taking up these offers. Crafting policy that increases coverage requires knowing how people value health insurance. New research suggests that not only are individuals who think they don't need health insurance more likely to be uninsured, they are both less likely to seek jobs that provide health insurance and to acquire employment-based coverage even when it is offered. 09/05 Abstract
Wolfe, Barbara Research Highlight 8: Wisconsin's SCHIP Program Provides Lifeline for Mothers Leaving Welfare for Work (PDF) (HTML) Federal welfare reform in 1996 broke the automatic link between cash assistance and Medicaid. Following this reform, there were decreases in public health insurance coverage in many states among both adults and children.  Some states tried to offset these declines by expanding eligibility for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to include working adults. New research shows that Wisconsin's SCHIP program, BadgerCare, was successful in preserving health care coverage for single mothers leaving welfare for work. 04/05 Abstract
Borjas, George Research Highlight 7: Welfare Reform Reduced Public Coverage, Increased Employer Coverage Among Immigrants (PDF) (HTML) Eight years after passage of the 1996 federal welfare reform law, researchers and policymakers still debate the effects of the legislation. While welfare reform reduced the level of Medicaid coverage for immigrants as a whole, many were able to obtain employer-sponsored coverage (ESI). Residents in states with less generous public assistance benefits were significantly more likely to have ESI than immigrants living in states that offered more generous aid. 10/04 Abstract
Harrington, Mary Research Highlight 6: How Many Are Uninsured? Different Data Offer Different Dimensions (PDF) (HTML) Many of us have become comfortable thinking about "the uninsured" in terms of the statistic reported by the annual Current Population Survey-43.6million in 2002. The number and composition of the uninsured changes dramatically if you look at the uninsured during a particular month rather than over an entire year. Those uninsured all year differ from those individuals who lose coverage for only part of the year. 08/04 Abstract
Cawley, John
Simon, Kosali
Research Highlight 5: Rising Uninsured Rates: It's Employment, Not the Economy, Stupid (PDF) (HTML) The current economic recovery may not yet be good news for Americans looking to keep or gain back their health insurance coverage. The most recent recession ended in November 2001, but unemployment continued to rise through June 2003. The economic downturn led to more than one million Americans losing coverage during the recession, and the economy has yet to make up for these losses more than two years into the recovery. 04/04 Abstract
Gruber, Jonathan
Washington, Ebonya
Research Highlight 4: No Bang for the Buck: Subsidizing Workers' Premiums to Reduce Uninsured (PDF) (HTML) About one-quarter of those who lack health insurance live in a household in which someone declined to take coverage offered at work. On the surface, targeting those who currently are offered health insurance and subsidizing their premiums appears to be an easy way to increase rates of insurance coverage. However, new research suggests this might not be the case. 01/04 Abstract
Blumberg, Linda
Nichols, Len
Research Highlight 3: Can the Employer-Based Health Insurance System Reduce America's Uninsured?(PDF) (HTML) Policymakers continually look to the employer-based health insurance system when proposing new solutions to reduce the number of uninsured Americans. Unfortunately, the solution to this ever growing problem is not that simple. There are many employee- and employer-based factors to consider, and much that we don't yet know about how employers and employees respond to different financial incentives. 09/03 Abstract
Levy, Helen
Meltzer, David
Research Highlight 2: Jumping to Conclusions: Will Expanding Health Care Insurance Improve the Health of the Uninsured? (PDF) (HTML) Hundreds of studies document that people without health insurance have worse outcomes than those with coverage. Is this evidence enough to conclude that having health insurance would improve the health of the uninsured? 03/03 Abstract
Short, Pamela Farley Research Highlight 1: A Revolving Door: How Individuals Move In and Out of Health Insurance Coverage (PDF) (HTML) Many health care experts think of the more than 41 million Americans without health care coverage as a group of chronically uninsurable individuals whose status rarely changes. However, longitudinal research shows that the uninsured are a dynamic, diverse, and constantly evolving pool of people--and that over a two-year period, actually 80 million Americans lack health insurance at some point. 10/02 Abstract