Survey: Number of Uninsured U.S. Adults Stands at Nearly 44 Million
An estimated 43.6 million people were without health insurance at some point during 2006, according to a CDC study released Monday, AP/Long Island Newsday reports.
The overall number of uninsured has been between 41 and 44 million for the last five years and does not show an upward trend. For non-elderly adults, however, there was a statistically significant increase in the number of uninsured from 2005 to 2006 (Stobbe, AP/Long Island Newsday, 6/25).
For the study, researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics asked 100,000 U.S. residents whether they had health insurance at the time of the survey. Based on the survey, CDC estimated that 14.8% of the U.S. population was uninsured in 2006, and 54.5 million people, or 18.6% of the population, were uninsured at some point during 2006 (Reuters/New York Times, 6/26).
The study also found that the estimated number of uninsured adults between the ages of 18 and 64 increased from 34.5 million in 2005 to 35.6 million last year. The increase reflects the high cost of health care, which has led some employers to stop offering coverage to workers and people to stop buying private coverage, according to experts.
The number of uninsured children dropped from about 10 million in 1997 to an estimated 6.8 million in 2006. There were an estimated 6.5 million uninsured children in 2005, according to the study.
Sherry Glied, a Columbia University professor who studies the uninsured, said the State Children's Health Insurance Program has played a key role in decreasing the number of uninsured children (AP/Long Island Newsday, 6/25). An early release of the report is available online.