Pension & Benefits News Uninsured rate increases in 2018
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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Uninsured rate increases in 2018

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

In 2018, 8.5 percent of individuals, or 27.5 million, did not have health insurance at any point during the year, according to an annual report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The uninsured rate and number of uninsured increased from 7.9 percent or 25.6 million in 2017. This is the first year-to-year increase in the percent of uninsured since 2008-2009, according to the report.

Similarly, the percentage of people with health insurance coverage for all or part of 2018 was 91.5 percent, lower than 92.1 percent in 2017. Between 2017 and 2018, the percentage of people with public coverage decreased 0.4 percentage points, and the percentage of people with private coverage did not statistically change, the report noted.

Types of coverage. The Census Bureau found that in 2018, private health insurance coverage continued to be more prevalent than public coverage, covering 67.3 percent of the population and 34.4 percent of the population, respectively. Of the subtypes of health insurance coverage, employer-based insurance remained the most common, covering 55.1 percent of the population for all or part of the calendar year.

For the first time, estimates include coverage purchased through a federal or state marketplace. In 2018, 3.3 percent of people, or 30.8 percent of people with direct-purchase insurance, obtained their coverage through the state or federal health insurance marketplace.

Between 2017 and 2018, the percentage of people covered by Medicaid decreased by 0.7 percentage points to 17.9 percent. The rate of Medicare coverage increased by 0.4 percentage points. The percentage of people with employment-based coverage, direct-purchase coverage, TRICARE, and VA or CHAMPVA health care did not statistically change between 2017 and 2018.

Age. In 2018, children under the age of 19 had a lower overall coverage rate (94.5 percent) than adults age 65 and over (99.1 percent), but a higher rate than adults age 19 to 64 (88.3 percent). The percentage of uninsured children under the age of 19 increased by 0.6 percentage points between 2017 and 2018, to 5.5 percent.

SOURCE: Current Population Reports: Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018, September 10, 2019.

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