A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

New National Data on Uninsured

New National Data on Uninsured

August 14, 2005

More than one-third of the U.S. Latino population in 2004 lacked health insurance, and one-fourth received coverage only through public health insurance programs, according to a new study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Latinos make up 15% of the US population and account for 29% of uninsured residents and 36% of uninsured children younger than age 18. The study also found:

-- About one in seven whites lacked health insurance in 2004, and 10% received coverage only through public health insurance programs;

-- Whites comprised 65% of the population but accounted for less than half of uninsured residents in 2004;

-- One in five blacks lacked health insurance in 2004, and 28% received coverage only through public health insurance programs;

-- About 64% of workers in private companies with 50 or more employees participated in employer-sponsored health insurance plans in 2003;

-- 82% of workers in the mining and manufacturing industry participated in employer-sponsored health plans in 2003, compared with 41% of those in "other service industries"; and

-- Workers, on average, contributed $627 annually toward health insurance premiums for single coverage and $2,242 for coverage for a family of four in 2003.

The study found that 19% of adults under 65, or about 48 million, lacked health insurance in the first part of 2004. Almost 12% of children younger than age 18, or 8.5 million, lacked health insurance in the first part of 2004 -- a "figure significantly lower than estimates from the previous decade," because of expansions of public programs such as Medicaid and SCHIP.

About 35% of young adults between ages 19 and 24 lacked health insurance in the first part of 2004, according to the study.