41.2M Lacked Health Insurance Last Year, Study Finds
Approximately 41.2 million U.S. residents, or 14.2%, of the U.S. population, had no health insurance at a point in time in 2005, demonstrating a small improvement over 2004, according to a survey published on Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics, Reuters reports (Reuters, 6/21). Study results were based on responses from 98,300 U.S. residents. According to the study:
- 29.2 million individuals, or 10% of the population, had been uninsured for more than a year at the time of the survey;
- 51.3 million people had been uninsured for at least part of the previous year (Mufson/Eilperin, Washington Post, 6/22);
- About 6.5 million children, or 8.9% of individuals younger than age 18, lacked health insurance in 2005, about one-third fewer than eight years earlier, Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times reports (Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times, 6/22). In 1997, 15.4% of U.S. adults and 13.9% of U.S. children were uninsured;
- Coverage varied by state, with Massachusetts having the lowest uninsured rate at 6% and Texas having the highest at 24%;
- More than 70% of adults and 62% of children had private insurance coverage; and
- Almost 30% of children and 11.5% of adults had some sort of public insurance such as SCHIP, Medicare or Medicaid (Reuters, 6/21).