An Analysis of the Decline in Private Health Insurance Coverage between 1988 and 1992

Paul Fronstin, Lawrence G. Goldberg, Philip K. Robins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Objective. This paper analyzes the trend of decreasing private health insurance coverage in the United States between 1988 and 1992. Methods. Using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), we identify factors affecting the probability of having private health insurance coverage in 1988 and 1992. We explore, using a regression-based decomposition analysis, the contribution of each of these factors to explaining the decrease in coverage over the period. Results. The results indicate that health care cost inflation and decreases in real levels of family income and hourly wages have played important roles in the decline in private health insurance coverage. Conclusions. The decomposition analysis suggests that, had health care costs, family income, wages, and other variables in our model remained at their 1988 levels, the United States would have experienced a smaller decline in private health insurance coverage between 1988 and 1992.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-65
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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