HomeHealth Care NewsStudy Finds Obamacare Hasn’t Changed the Risk of Losing Health Insurance

Study Finds Obamacare Hasn’t Changed the Risk of Losing Health Insurance

Obamacare did little to prevent people from losing health insurance, say two economists.

The risk of losing insurance is about the same as it was before the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect, according to a study by Liran Einav, an economics professor at Stanford University, and Amy Finkelstein, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“We estimate that although only 12.5% of under-65 Americans were uninsured at any given point in time, twice as many—one in four—were uninsured at some point over a 2-y[ear] period,” Einav and Finkelstein wrote. “Moreover, the risk of an insured individual losing coverage barely declined after the passage of the landmark 2010 Affordable Care Act.”

The risk of losing insurance was more pronounced for those on Medicaid or who got insurance through the health care exchanges, state Einav and Finkelstein. Of those who lose insurance, half remain uninsured beyond six months, with 25 percent uninsured for two years more.

“These facts suggest that research and policy attention should focus not only on the ‘headline number’ of the share of the population uninsured at a point in time, but also on the stability and certainty (or lack thereof) of being insured,” the authors wrote.

AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform.


  1. Health insurance wouldn’t be necessary for anything other than serious injury or hospitalization if the government hadn’t meddled with it.


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