NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

LITTLE CHANGE IN PROPORTION OF UNINSURED

August 29, 2007

While the proportion of Americans who do not have health insurance rose, the increase is largely due to population growth and immigration, according to an analysis of the latest Census data by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

Consider:

  • During the past decade, the number of people without insurance has increased by 3.5 million, while at the same time the number of Americans with insurance has also increased by nearly 25 million.
  • Approximately 75 percent of uninsured spells last one year or less.
  • Although immigrants (including naturalized U.S. citizens) make up slightly less than 12 percent of the population, they make up 27 percent of the uninsured.
  • Overall, the total number of uninsured rose slightly, from 15.3 percent of the population in 2005 to 15.8 percent in 2006.

Further, greatest growth in the uninsured continues to be among higher-income households:

  • Over the past 10 years, the ranks of the uninsured in households earning $50,000 to $75,000 increased by 49 percent, while households earning above $75,000 increased by 90 percent.
  • Nearly 18 million uninsured Americans live in households with annual incomes above $50,000, and could likely afford health insurance.
  • More than 84 percent (250.4 million) of U.S. residents were privately insured or enrolled in a government health care program.   

"The uninsured population is a diverse group, each with a different reason for lacking insurance," says NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick.  "Income may be a factor, but it is not the only one.  Some come from cultures without a strong history of paying premiums for health insurance; others don't see it as a good economic value."

Source: "Little Change in Proportion of Uninsured," National Center for Policy Analysis, August 28, 2007.

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