Public and Private Insurance and the Uninsured

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Filling Gaps in Health Insurance

image of clinic waiting roomDr. Pamela Farley Short, professor of Health Policy and Administration, tells the story of a woman who was between jobs and without health insurance. She took advantage of the time off from work to go for a mammogram. When the mammogram showed that she had breast cancer, she was panicked-and not just by the threat to her life. She quickly called her old employer and asked about signing up for continued health insurance benefits via COBRA, the federal law that allows former employees to keep their insurance for a year and half by paying the entire premium. To her horror, she was told that she was too late. The deadline had passed. Read more

Health Insurance Dynamics (HIDyn)

The Health Insurance Dynamics (HIDyn) database was created by Penn State's Center for Health Care and Policy Research, with funding from The Commonwealth Fund and the help of Penn State's Population Research Institute. HIDyn (pronounced "hidden") is being shared with the research community in order to promote scholarship regarding U.S. health insurance in general and the dynamics of health insurance in particular. HIDyn makes longitudinal data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census's 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) available to health care researchers and students in an easy-to-use format for studying health insurance patterns and evaluating coverage reform. Research and policy analysis with these data will inform the design and implementation of policies to cover the uninsured, as well as the evaluation and improvement of existing public and private coverage programs. Read more