46 Million Americans Lack Health Insurance Coverage

Jun 18th, 2010 | By Hot News Reporter | Category: Insurance Today

(HealthcareDigital)Issues in health care coverage attributed to unemployment, lack of education.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released two reports conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) on the nation’s health insurance coverage. The reports revealed some staggering numbers, the biggest being that 46.3 Americans are uninsured, a figure that spawns concern about the passage of health care reform bill.

Statistics have shown 46.3 million persons of all ages (15.4%) are uninsured, 58.5 million (19.4%) had been uninsured for at least part of the year, and 32.8 million (10.9%) had been uninsured for more than a year. Of those uninsured, 21.1% were adults aged 18-64, 8.2% were children under the age of 18, and the remaining 17% was attributed to seniors over the age of 64. With the COBRA health care subsidies ending, this number is likely to rise over the next year.

According to a CDC report, the largest problem for Americans who lacked insurance for part of the year correlated with the lack of employment, as 60.6 percent of unemployed adults (ages 18 to 64) experienced a lack of health coverage during that time as compared to only 21.8 percent of employed adults. And of the people uninsured for more than a year, 32.9 percent of them were unemployed, while only 13.3 percent of them were employed. With the U.S. financial crisis rendering many people unemployed or underemployed, health insurance has become one of the casualties.

It’s to be expected that the largest uninsured group was aged 18-24, those out of high school, who were not enrolled or under-enrolled in college, unemployed or working in jobs that do not offer health care benefits. Typically wages earned in this demographic cannot be stretched to buy an individual health insurance policy.

Lack of health insurance coverage was greatest in the South and West regions of the United States. Among adults who lacked a high school diploma, 32.9% were uninsured, 36.4% had been uninsured for at least part of the past year, and 27.4% had been uninsured for more than a year. These rates are two or three times as high as individuals with more than a high school education. Approximately one in four persons under age 65 in Florida and Texas, and one in five persons under age 65 in California and Georgia, lack coverage.

The number of Americans insured under individual plans dropped over the last year by almost 3%, with approximately two-thirds (65.8%) of adults aged 18-64 covered by a private plan, compared with 55.7% of children under age 18. Those covered by public plans consisted of 21% total, more than one-third of them being children.


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