Uninsured Nonelderly U.S. Residents Up 17.9% in 2006
The number of uninsured U.S. residents younger than 65 rose to 46.4 million people, or 17.9% of that population, according to a report released Thursday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the Kansas City Star reports.
The report also included the following findings:
- More than 25% of self-employed workers were uninsured, while almost 20% of all workers lacked insurance;
- More than 35% of workers at private-sector firms with less than 10 employees were uninsured, compared with 13% of workers at firms with 1,000 or more employees;
- Self-employed people and workers at private-sector firms with fewer than 100 employees made up 63% of the working uninsured;
- About 33% of the uninsured were in families with annual incomes less than $20,000, compared with about 7% of people in families with annual incomes of $75,000 or more; and
- Part-time workers made up 29.3% of the employed last year but 39.6% of the uninsured, while 16% of full-time workers lacked insurance.
The report also found that men were more likely to be uninsured than women, at more than 22% and about 18%, respectively. The demographic group most likely to be uninsured was Hispanics at 35.7%, followed by blacks at 21.8% and whites at 12.8%.
Employer-sponsored health care was the largest contributor to the insured population, covering 60% to 70% of people younger than 65. Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program made up about 13.4% of the insured, and private insurance covered about 6% to 7% of the insured.
According to the Star, employer-based coverage has declined every year since 2000. EBRI in its report said that 2005 might have marked the beginning of a trend, where the "erosion in employment-based coverage is not being offset by expansions in public programs" (Stafford, Kansas City Star, 10/4). The report is available online. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.