The U.S. Census Bureau health insurance coverage report is a study on how health insurance affects American families and individuals. In case you did not know, the U.S. Census Bureau does a lot more than conduct a population census every decade. As a sub-section of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Census Bureau produces a wide variety of reports about both people and economic factors. A new report looks at health insurance coverage for 2018 and how it impacts most American families and individuals.
Overall Health Insurance Coverage
Health insurance is a way to finance healthcare expenses via a monthly payment. You pay a set amount each month, and when you have a medical expense, some or all of it is covered by the insurance company after you meet certain requirements. Most people with health insurance have a deductible, or an amount that they must pay out of pocket before insurance coverage begins. The Census Bureau surveyed civilian (non-military) people in 2017 and 2018 about their health insurance and coverage.
There are two types of comprehensive health insurance: Private and public. Private coverage comes from employers or is directly purchased from an insurance company, while public coverage is Medicare or Medicaid, or a state’s version of those federal programs.
Some highlights of the Census Bureau’s findings:
- 91.5% of people had some health insurance coverage for some or all of 2018. Most of these people are insured all year. Only 3.6% of these people lacked insurance for 1 to 11 months of the year.
- 8.5% of people had no insurance and are considered uninsured.
- More people have private health insurance than public insurance: 67.3% vs. 34.4%.
- Public health care coverage declined slightly, by 0.4%, in 2018.
- The percentage of uninsured children went up slightly, by 0.6%, in 2018.
Health Insurance Coverage by Age
The older a person is, the more likely that he or she has health insurance. In fact, 99.1% of people older than age 65 had some coverage, though that is because most of these seniors are eligible for public insurance through Medicare. However, a lot of seniors have supplemental insurance in addition to Medicare — roughly 52.4%.
The next most highly insured group is children under age 19. Many children are covered by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Last year, 61.8% of children had private health insurance and 35.7% were insured via these public programs. A 1.2% decrease in Medicaid and CHIP coverage meant that a greater number of children went uninsured for 2018.
Of the adults between the two age groups — ages 19 to 64, 88.3% are insured. This age group is more likely to have private insurance through an employer, because they are more likely to be in the workforce.
Health Insurance Coverage by Social and Economic Factors
Due to qualifying for public insurance, people with disabilities are more likely (90.4%) to have health insurance than those without a disability (88.5%).
As well, more working adults have health insurance (89.3%). This increases for full-time, year-round workers. Insurance rates declined slightly for workers of all types in 2018.
Married adults are also more likely to have health insurance, possibly because they can get private insurance through a spouse. Coverage decreased for married adults by 0.7% in 2018.
Finally, those with more education are found to be more likely to have health insurance. About 96.6% of adults with a graduate degree had insurance last year compared to 93.8% with bachelor’s degrees, 85.1% with high school diploma and 71.0% with no high school diploma.
Health Insurance Coverage by Household Income
Not surprisingly, people with lower incomes were less likely to have health coverage. For households that make $150,000 or more, 96.8% have some form of health coverage, while only 86.2% have insurance in households with $25,000 or less in annual income. Those people in lower-income households have higher rates of public insurance than do others.
Insurance coverage declined in four income-based groups from the middle to the top of the income brackets: Households with income between $50,000 and $74,999 (1.1%); households with income between $100,000 and $124,999 (0.7%); households with income between $125,000 and $149,999 (0.7%); and households with income of $150,000 or more (0.6%).
Overall, health insurance coverage is higher for those with better income-to-poverty ratios. Those people living in poverty are much less likely to have health insurance (83.7%) than those with incomes at four times above the poverty level (96.6%).
Health Insurance Coverage by Demographics
People who live in family units are more likely to have health coverage than those who live alone or with unrelated people.
As well, broken down by race, the following groups are covered by health insurance:
- Whites – 94.6%
- Asians – 93.2%
- Blacks – 90.3%
- Hispanics – 82.2%
The report did not break down health insurance coverage by sex or gender.
Health Insurance Coverage by State
The number of people without health coverage increased in three states (Wyoming, South Carolina and New York) and decreased in eight states between 2017 and 2018. Most states had little change.
Six states have an uninsured rate of 12% or greater, while five states and Washington, D.C., have less than 5% uninsured.
According to the health insurance coverage report In some categories, health insurance coverage rates dipped slightly. In most instances, there was less than 1 percentage point of change or statistically no change. Using these statistics can help lawmakers, community leaders and medical administrators see what groups are still in the highest need of health insurance coverage.