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Health-Insurance Gaps

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Over a typical two-year period, at least one-quarter of the population goes without health insurance for at least a month, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

During 28 months that began in 1987, the bureau reports, more than 61 million Americans, or 26.5 percent of the population, were without private or government health insurance for part of the time. Some 16 million of those Americans lacked insurance for the entire period.

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 21 were the age group most likely to lack insurance for at least a month. That group also had the highest percentage who lacked coverage for the entire period.

Nearly 68 percent of children under age 18 were insured for the entire period, but one-third lacked coverage for at least a month; most of those went uninsured for 19 to 24 months.

Copies of "Health Insurance Coverage: 1987 to 1990'' are available for $3 each from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402; (202) 783-3238. The G.P.O. stock number is 803-044-00017-1.

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