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  1. For a more detailed description of the design of the Community Tracking Study (CTS), see P. Kemper et al., "The Design of the Community Tracking Study," Inquiry:195-206 (Summer 1996).

  2. Estimates reflect insurance coverage on the day of the interview. The 1997 Current Population Survey (CPS) estimates that about 14 percent of persons age 60-64 and 15 percent of persons age 0-18 were uninsured in 1996, which is slightly higher than what is reported in Figure 1. However, the Health and Retirement Survey estimates that about 10 percent of persons age 58-63 were uninsured in 1994, which is similar to the CTS Household Survey estimate for that age group. Estimates of the percentage of persons age 19-34 who are uninsured are comparable to the CPS. Although the reasons for the discrepancy with CPS in estimates for children and near-elderly persons are unclear, the pattern of variation in uninsurance rates across age groups is similar across both surveys.

  3. Insurance offerings through one’s own employer as well as those of parents or a spouse were used to determine whether coverage was offered by an employer. Insurance offerings of parents’ employers were used for persons age 0-17 as well as persons age 18-22 who were full-time students. For all others, insurance offerings through one’s own employer and/or a spouse’s employer were considered.

  4. These findings may understate the number of uninsured older adults who are offered employer-sponsored coverage because the survey did not ask about health insurance coverage that was available through a former employer (i.e., as part of retiree health benefits). However, the very low incomes of uninsured older adults (see Figure 3) suggest that those who are retired are not offered generous retirement benefits, or that the premiums associated with the plans are not affordable.

  5. Monheit, A., and C. Schur. 1989. Health Insurance Coverage of Retired Persons (DHHS Publication No. (PHS) 89-3444). National Medical Expenditure Survey Research Findings 2, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. Rockville, MD: Public Health Service.

  6. Family income reported in the CTS Household Survey is slightly lower than that reported in the CPS for certain age groups. While differences between the two surveys in the percent of all nonelderly persons below the federal poverty line were not statistically significant (15.0 percent for the CTS vs. 14.5 percent for 1996 in the CPS), the percent of persons ages 60 to 64 below poverty was somewhat higher in the CTS survey than CPS estimates for 1995 (14 percent vs. 10.4 percent). Some underreporting of family income in the CTS survey may account for the discrepancy, since only a single question on income from all sources was asked, compared to a more detailed battery of questions asked in the CPS about specific sources of income.

  7. Because the age groups reported in Figure 4 do not conform exactly to those indicated in the president’s proposal, these estimates were computed from the CTS Household Survey based on an average income of about $19,000 for uninsured persons age 55 to 61 and $17,000 for uninsured persons age 62 to 64.

  8. Using data on average monthly employee contributions from the 1997 KPMG Peat-Marwick Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits ($31 per month for single coverage and $116 per month for family coverage) and estimates of average income for employed persons with employer-sponsored health insurance derived from the CTS Household Survey ($54,000), the average enrollee in employer-sponsored plans pays less than 1 percent of family income for single coverage and less than 3 percent for family coverage.


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The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.