Measuring Coverage Rates in a Pandemic: Policy and Research Challenges


Adrianna McIntyre, Matthew W. Brault, and Benjamin D. Sommers. 10/26/2020. “Measuring Coverage Rates in a Pandemic: Policy and Research Challenges.” JAMA Health Forum. Publisher's Version


The historic job losses accompanying the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have raised concerns that the number of uninsured US residents will increase substantially in 2020—but there are no official real-time mechanisms for tracking the nation’s uninsured rate. Unlike assessing unemployment claims or Medicaid enrollment, measuring the overall share of people without insurance relies on time-consuming and imperfect household surveys. Understanding the limitations of the available data is especially critical during a fast-changing health and economic crisis like the current one.