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Health Insurance is a Family Matter
The Committee’s overarching conclusion is that insurance coverage within a family concerns and may affect the entire family unit. The lack of insurance of any family member has the potential to affect the financial and emotional well-being of all members of the family. This suggests that we focus not only on the more than 38 million uninsured adults and children in the United States, but also on the 17 million families in which some or all members are uninsured.1
A FAMILY PERSPECTIVE
Of the 85 million families in the United States, 17 million have one or more members who lack health insurance. Narrowing the focus to the roughly 38 million families with children, in 3.2 million of these families all members lack insurance and in an additional 4.3 million families some but not all members are uninsured (see Chapter 2, Table 2.1). Together these uninsured families with children account for about one-fifth of all families with children. Among married, childless couples, an additional 3.7 million family units have one or both members uninsured. More than 38 million uninsured people live in the 11.1 million family units mentioned above, with relatives other than their own children under age 18, with people other than conventionally recognized kin, or alone. Because of family relationships—financial responsibilities, psychosocial ties, and traditional child rearing obligations—an uninsured individual may affect the lives of other immediate family members, even if they have coverage. Thus, the consequences of not
The CPS estimates those who have been uninsured for the complete year.