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Health Coverage in a Period of Rising Unemployment

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Publication Date: December 2008

Publisher(s): Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Topic: Health (Health care financing)

Keywords: Insurance; COBRA; unemployment

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


This policy brief reviews the public and private options available to help people maintain coverage if they become unemployed during a downturn and cannot get employer-sponsored coverage through a spouse. Specifically, it examines COBRA, non-group insurance and Medicaid. And it explains why, despite such options, more people will become uninsured as unemployment rises. Recent analysis predicts that each 1 percentage point increase in unemployment will lead to 1.1 million more uninsured adults.