A Report from Familes USA, March 2009
Americans at Risk:
One in Three Uninsured
One in Three Uninsured: 2007-2008
- 86.7 million people under the age of 65 went without health insurance for some or all of the two-year period from 2007 to 2008.
- One out of three people (33.1 percent) under the age of 65 were uninsured for some or all of 2007-2008.
Number of Months Uninsured
- Of the 86.7 million uninsured individuals, three in five (60.2 percent) were uninsured for nine months or more. Nearly three-quarters (74.5 percent) were uninsured for six months or more.
- Among all people under the age of 65 who were uninsured in 2007-2008, one quarter (25.3 percent) were uninsured for the full 24 months during 2007-2008; 19.5 percent were uninsured for 13 to 23 months; 15.4 percent were uninsured for nine to 12 months; 14.3 percent were uninsured for six to eight months; and 20.1 percent were uninsured for three to five months. Only 5.4 percent were uninsured for two months or less.
Work Status of the Uninsured
- Four out of five individuals (79.2 percent) who went without health insurance during 2007-2008 were from working families: 69.7 percent were in families with a worker who was employed full-time, and 9.5 percent were in families with a worker who was employed part-time.
- In addition, 4.6 percent were looking for work.
- Of the people who were uninsured during 2007-2008, only 16.2 percent were not in the labor force—because they were either disabled, chronically ill, family caregivers, or not looking for employment for other reasons.
Income Level of the Uninsured
- Three out of five individuals (58.7 percent) in families with incomes below the federal poverty level ($21,200 a year for a family of four in 2008) went without health insurance in 2007-2008.
- More than half (52.0 percent) of individuals in families with incomes between 100 and 199 percent of poverty (between $21,200 and $42,400 a year for a family of four in 2008) went without health insurance in 2007-2008.
- The likelihood of being uninsured decreases considerably with increased income, but nearly one in five (17.9 percent) people in families with incomes at four times the poverty level or above went without health insurance in 2007-2008.
Every Racial and Ethnic Group Is Affected
- Hispanics/Latinos, African Americans, and people of other racial or ethnic minorities were much more likely to be uninsured than whites: 55.1 percent of Hispanics/Latinos, 40.3 percent of African Americans, and 34.0 percent of other racial and ethnic minorities went without health insurance in 2007-2008, compared to 25.8 percent of whites.
- Although racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be uninsured, whites accounted for nearly half (49.8 percent) of the uninsured in 2007-2008.
Every Age Group Is Affected
- Of the total 86.7 million uninsured people in 2007-2008, 60.1 million were uninsured adults (between 19 and 64 years of age).
- The likelihood of being uninsured declined among adults as they grew older. The percentage who were uninsured was highest among 19- to 24-year-olds (49.5 percent) and 25- to 44-year-olds (36.3 percent). The percentage who were uninsured declined for 45- to 54-year-olds and 55- to 64-year-olds, to 25.5 percent and 21.2 percent, respectively.
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