Health Services Utilization

Health Insurance

People who are uninsured are less likely than those with insurance to seek preventive care, which can result in poor health outcomes and higher health care costs. In 2004, over 45 million people in the United States, representing 15.7 percent of the population, were uninsured all year. The percentage of people who are uninsured varies considerably across a number of categories, including sex, age, race/ethnicity, income, and education. Males were more likely than females to be without insurance (17.2 versus 14.3 percent), and adults were more likely than children (20.3 versus 11.2 percent).

The percentage of adults without health insurance coverage has risen since the early 1990s. The total rate fluctuated between 17 and 20 percent from 1991 until 2002; then, in 2003, the rate surpassed the 20 percent mark for the first time in recent years (20.3 percent). During each year since 1991, men were more likely than women to be uninsured: in 2004, the rates were 22.6 and 18.6 percent, respectively.

Among females of all ages in 2004, 68.4 percent had private insurance, 28.9 percent had public insurance, and 14.3 percent were uninsured. This varied by race and ethnicity: non-Hispanic White females had the highest rate of private insurance coverage (76.0 percent); followed by Asian women (70.6 percent). Black females had the highest rate of public insurance coverage (36.6 percent), and Hispanic females had the highest rate of being uninsured (29.5 percent).

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Women's Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.