Important Facts about the Uninsured Population

In 2012 there were over 47 million Americans who were uninsured. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to reduce that number of uninsured Americans significantly. The ACA would provide Medicaid or subsidized health insurance coverage to individuals that meet the qualifications with income of up to 400% of the federal poverty level starting in 2014. We will cover some of the main reasons about the uninsured, why people are uninsured, and who the uninsured are.

Why are there so many uninsured Americans?

For starters, insurance coverage is not exactly affordable; therefore few can actually afford to buy it on their own. Most Americans currently receive their health insurances through their employer, but not all employers offer coverage to employees. For those who are covered by insurance through their work, the majority can barley afford their share of the premiums.

The single largest reason that people go without having health insurance would simply be the high cost involved to obtain proper insurance coverage. Many Americans do not have health coverage provided through their employer, and if the person is unemployed the chances of having coverage. Coverage gaps in public coverage also leave many without an affordable option.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cost is the biggest barrier.
  • 61% of adults said the cost is too high, or that they are unemployed.
  • 1.5% said they were uninsured because they do not need coverage.
  • Most uninsured employed Americans are self-employed or work for smaller firms.
  • Low-wage earners who have coverage cannot afford their share of premiums.


What is happening to the uninsured?

The number of uninsured Americans has continued to increase throughout most of the past ten years mainly due to a decrease in employer sponsored insurance coverage and a rise in health care costs. This country’s recent recession has led to a major increase in uninsured rates from 2008 to 2010. The extremely high rates of unemployed resulted in loss of coverage. Many of those who fell victim became eligible for Medicaid and CHIP due to their low-income.

Key Takeaways:

  • The amount of uninsured Americans reflects the availability of employer-provided coverage.
  • The amount of those covered by employer-sponsored coverage fell steadily starting during 2000 thru 2010.
  • In 2011 & 2012 the decline had started to slow, and the number of those with no insurance coverage held constant at roughly 56%.
  • The trend that took place was reflective of the changing American economy.
  • Unemployment rate rose to 10% in 2009. Shortly after, the unemployment rate began to improve slowly from 2010 on.
  • The amount of Americans covered by Medicaid has increased significantly during recent times due to weak economy and the loss of jobs, this also lead to decreases in family incomes.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, almost 11 million Americans, mainly children, gained Medicaid
  • In 2012, almost 48 million non-elderly Americans enrolled in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • Uninsured rate fell to 17.7% in 2012, about the same as the 17.9% in 2011.


Who are the uninsured?

For the most part, uninsured people are in low-income families. Adults are more likely to be uninsured than children are. Minorities are at a higher risk of being uninsured than non-Hispanic Caucasians.

Key Takeaways:

  • People below poverty level are at the highest risk of being uninsured. This group accounts for 38% of all the uninsured Americans.
  • About 90% of the uninsured are in low-income or moderate-income families, below 400% of the federal poverty level.
  • The age of uninsured is equal among all ages. However, children are less likely to be uninsured because they are likely to be eligible for a public coverage or Medicaid policy or CHIP.
  • Among adults, the uninsured rate was roughly 27% in 2012.
  • Young adults continue to have a high uninsured rate compared to other ages.































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One Comment

  1. Kenneth Mullin says:

    since Obamacare took effect more people are uninsured. companies are hiring more part-time employees so they don’t have to provide them with insurance. It’s a lose-lose situation, Americans are working less and don’t have any insurance, but their medications are still expensive so many go without.

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