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Health Insurance

Narrative

People who are uninsured face substantial financial barriers to health care, which can result in delayed diagnoses and poor health outcomes, including premature death.1 In 2009, 43.1 million adults (18.8 percent) were uninsured, up from 37.5 million adults (16.7 percent) in 2007 (2007 data not shown). The recent rise in the uninsured population has been attributed to job loss and the economic recession.1 The percentage of people who are uninsured varies considerably across a number of factors, including age, sex, marital status, race and ethnicity, income, and education.

Among adults in 2009, those aged 18–24 years were most likely to lack health insurance (30.4 percent). Men aged 18–64 years were more likely than women of the same age to be uninsured. The highest rate of uninsurance occurred among 18- to 24-year-old men (33.0 percent), which was higher than the percentage of women of the same age (27.8 percent). The lowest rate of uninsurance was among adults aged 65 and older, most of whom are eligible for Medicare coverage. The next lowest rate was found among women and men aged 45–64 (15.1 and 17.1 percent, respectively); the sex disparity in this age group is less pronounced than in the younger age groups.

Among women aged 18–64 years in 2009, 67.6 percent had private insurance, 16.9 percent had public insurance, and 19.9 percent were uninsured. This distribution varied by race and ethnicity: non-Hispanic White women were most likely to have private insurance coverage (75.4 percent), while Hispanic women were least likely to be covered by private insurance (44.7 percent). About 1 in 4 non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native, non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander, and non-Hispanic women of multiple races had public insurance. Hispanic women were most likely to lack insurance (38.9 percent), followed by non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native and non-Hispanic Black women (30.5 and 24.6 percent, respectively). [Respondents could report more than one type of coverage.]

1 Kaiser Family Foundation.External Web Site Policy The Uninsured: A Primer. December 2010. Accessed 02/20/11.

Graphs

Data

Adults Aged 18 and Older Without Health Insurance, by Age and Sex, 2009
Age Group Percent of Adults
Female Male Total
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2009. Current Population Survey Table Creator. Accessed 02/20/11.
18-24 Years 18.8 27.8 33.0
25-44 Years 30.4 21.9 29.0
45-64 Years 25.4 15.1 17.1
65 Years and Older 16.1 1.9 1.6
Total 1.8 16.6 21.2
Health Insurance Coverage of Women Aged 18–64, by Race/Ethnicity and Type of Coverage,* 2009
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Women
Private Public Uninsured
*Percentages may add to more than 100 because it was possible to report more than one type of coverage.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2009. Current Population Survey Table Creator. Accessed 02/20/11.
Non-Hispanic White 63.2 25.1 17.5
Non-Hispanic Black 67.6 16.9 19.9
Hispanic 75.4 14.6 14.7
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 54.2 26.1 24.6
Non-Hispanic Asian 44.7 19.3 38.9
Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 48.4 25.5 30.5
Non-Hispanic Multiple Race 70.0 13.9 19.8
Total 64.5 23.6 19.8

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