UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Shana Alex Charles is a research scientist at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. As the Center's director of health insurance studies, she works with numerous projects, including the State of Health Insurance in California (SHIC) project and the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP). The SHIC project acts as a statewide and national resource for health insurance information, creating and disseminating reports, fact sheets, policy briefs and on-demand data estimates. As a member of the cost analysis team with CHBRP, Charles estimates the impact of health insurance benefit mandates pending in the state's legislature. Charles is also an expert on health insurance data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).
Charles's research focuses on discontinuous health insurance, particularly among low-income children, and its impact on access to care, and underinsurance among those with coverage. She also specializes in political issues surrounding health care reform at both the state and the national levels. Her most recent work includes an examination of immigrant children excluded from the health insurance expansions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010; an evaluation of the availability of job-based coverage following the first wave of the Great Recession; and a new conceptual framework of underinsurance that includes access to care as part of the definition.
Charles received her master's degree in public policy from the UCLA School of Public Affairs and her PhD in health services from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.