Who Has Access to Health Care? A National Analysis

Analytical support for coverage issues

From 2004 to 2006, staff at the Urban Institute analyzed access to public and private health insurance and to health care among U.S. adults and children, especially those with chronic conditions, and how access has changed over time. The researchers based their analyses on the Current Population Survey (sponsored by the US Census Bureau) and the National Health Interview Survey (sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

The goal was to raise public awareness of lack of coverage and access to care among adults and children, and to support the work of the Coverage team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Key Findings:

  • Nearly half of all uninsured, non-elderly adults reported having a chronic condition, and they are more likely to suffer serious, identifiable gaps in needed medical care than their insured counterparts.
  • More than half of uninsured non-elderly adults and children reported the high cost of insurance as the reason they are uninsured.
  • Despite declines in the uninsured rate among children between 1998 and 2003, in 2004 8.4 million children remained uninsured.