Analysts from the Iowa Fiscal Partnership (IFP) say they’ve found “discouraging” trends in health care coverage in a review of new Census data. IFP spokesman, Mike Crawford, says more Iowans are finding themselves looking for insurance coverage. He says the Census figures from 2006 and 2007 to 2008 and 2009 show the employer sponsored health insurance has dropped from 715 to just over 68%.
Crawford says one in nine Iowans didn’t have healthcare coverage in 2008 and 2009. Crawford says government programs have helped. Crawford says public efforts such as Medicaid and the Hawk-I program have helped cushioned the loss in employer insurance coverage — particularly for children. Crawford says the loss of employer coverage highlights the importance of the new health reform law as he says the new law will allow many Iowans to receive coverage through Medicaid and through the new health insurance exchanges.
Crawford says the economy likely has been a factor in the loss of employee sponsored insurance. Crawford says the drop in the economy has had employers looking for ways to cut costs and cutting insurance benefits is one way, so there could be a connection. IFP is a joint effort of the Iowa Policy Project in Iowa City and the Child & Family Policy Center (CFPC) in Des Moines.
Read more on the insurance issue on the Iowa Fiscal Partnership’s websit at: www.iowafiscal.org.