Danger For Job Changers

With legislative attention focused on reducing the costs of Medicare and Medicaid, the most egregious current health-care problem--the 41 million Americans who lack any health insurance at all--appears to be worsening. And the flexibility of U.S. labor markets--the ease with which Americans change jobs--isn't helping the situation.

A Commerce Dept. survey found that only 32% of 3.4 million men age 25 to 54 who changed full-time jobs from 1991 to 1993 had employer-sponsored health insurance in their new jobs, compared with 49% with coverage under their old employers. And among 1.8 million similar female job-changers, the incidence of employer-sponsored coverage fell from 46% to 30%.

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