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As the Economy Improves, the Number of Uninsured Is Falling But Not Because of a Rebound in Employer Sponsored Insurance

Introduction

Though the effects of the Great Recession, which peaked in 2010, are still being felt today, the economy is slowly improving. Since 2010, the unemployment rate has fallen, while real gross domestic product (GDP) and real personal incomes have increased. In this brief we address the question of whether the decline in employer sponsored insurance (ESI) and the associated increases in uninsured rates that occurred with the sharp decline in economic activity between 2007 and 2010 have begun to reverse now that the economy is improving. We find that there has been very little change in the ESI rate, in  fact there is some evidence that it is continuing to decline albeit at a much slower rate. There continues to be an increase in public coverage which has resulted in a decline in the number of uninsured in the last two years, both among adults and children. There has been an increase in ESI coverage among young adults, because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions allowing them to retain family coverage.

Executive Summary The Improving Economic Picture