NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 7, 2008

For most Americans, market-based health insurance remains the predominant form of health coverage, says the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

According to the most recent detailed census report, of 296,824,000 total Americans:

  • 201,690,000 people (67.9 percent) were covered by private market health insurance plans.
  • 177,152,000 people (59.7 percent) were enrolled in employer-based insurance.
  • The percentage of people covered by employment-based insurance fell between 2004 and 2005 from 59.8 percent to 59.5 percent -- a .3 percent decrease.
  • 27,066,000 people (9.1 percent) were enrolled in "individual market" or direct-purchase health insurance.

In comparison:

  • 38,281,000 were counted in Medicaid, of whom 6,419,000 also had some type of private insurance.
  • 40,343,000 were enrolled in Medicare, of whom 21,777,000 also had some type of private insurance, such as "Medi-Gap" supplemental policies or retiree benefits from a former employer.
  • Some 10,547,000 were enrolled in military health care.
  • 46,995,000 were counted as not covered at any time during the year.

In general terms, all 50 states regulate and initiate policies affecting health insurance. These statutes, and the Insurance Departments and other agencies that administer them, play a significant role in virtually every state.

Source: "Market-Based Health Insurance Is Predominant Form of Coverage," Heartland Institute, July 2008.


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