Bridging the Gap: The Role of Individual

Vol. IX, No. 1
Februry 2006

Making health insurance more affordable to those without employer-based coverage has become an important theme in the current policy debate. Policymakers have pursued a variety of options, including insurance regulation and tax credits to expand the individual health insurance market, to reduce the number of uninsured Americans. But a lack of empirical data and knowledge about the market and its participants has hampered researchers and policymakers’ abilities to evaluate the impact of these reforms. In particular, past research on the individual insurance market has not explored patterns of individual coverage over time. Therefore, questions about enrollment and disenrollment patterns and coverage duration with individual insurance have until recently, remained unanswered.