Aggressively Marketed, Low-Rate Private Plans Can Cut Number of Medically Uninsured

Researching market-based models to reduce the number of uninsured

From 2001 to 2003, researchers from the National Institute for Health Care Management conducted a study to identify and assess privately sponsored health insurance plans that cover low- and moderate-income Americans who are unlikely to be eligible for public health insurance programs.

The institute, based in Washington, is a non-profit, non-partisan group that conducts research on health care issues.

Key Findings

Researchers reported the following findings in the report The Uninsured: A Study of Health Plan Initiatives and the Lessons Learned:

  • The health plans studied are increasingly interested in finding workable solutions to expanding health insurance coverage for social, political and business reasons.
  • Six of the 13 programs met enrollment targets and can be considered successful based on scope, enrollment targets and realistic expectations. Five initiatives did not reach enrollment targets. Two initiatives failed to get off the ground.

Key Conclusions

In the same report, researchers reported the following conclusion:

  • This study suggests that privately sponsored health insurance plans can play an important role in extending coverage to some uninsured Americans, especially when such efforts are targeted at people employed in small businesses and at low- and moderate-income people who do not qualify for public programs.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $200,594.

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