Nearly one in three Americans — more than 92 million people — have no health insurance.
So what does this mean for you? If you’re uninsured, this statistic can help you find out how many other people are in the same boat as you, and perhaps even give you some peace of mind that you’re not alone in your quest to get coverage — and get covered!
50 million Americans are uninsured
The number of Americans without health insurance rose by nearly 3 million in 2009, and nearly 50 million people are now uninsured, according to a new study by the U.S. Census Bureau, The New York Times reports.
In all, 49.9 million people were not covered at any point during last year, representing 16% of U.S. households; that’s up from 2007 when about 48 million were uninsured (16% of households).
The percentage of adults under 65 who had no health coverage in 2009 was also on the rise — 22%, up from 19% in 2007.
10 million Americans are uninsured but eligible for public health insurance
According to a new analysis from Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, an estimated 10 million Americans who are uninsured are eligible for government health insurance programs like Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but remain outside of these programs.
Of those 10 million, over 6 million people live in households with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of poverty—making them eligible for premium tax credits in health insurance exchanges set up by Affordable Care Act (ACA).
What is holding people back? Cost. Despite income eligibility, most cannot afford a policy.
6 million Americans can buy individual coverage outside of the Obamacare exchanges
In 2016, there were 24 million non-elderly adults in America who had no health insurance.
That number has dropped by more than half since 2013, when 46 million Americans were uninsured because they could not afford coverage.
Without coverage, many people struggle to access care—but they still need it.
Uninsured people are more likely to report being in poor or fair health, and without regular access to affordable care, their health outcomes can be worse than insured people’s.
According to one study, uninsured patients spent less time with their doctors and received fewer screenings than insured patients.
24 million non-elderly adults are uninsured because they cannot afford it
In 2016, 24 million non-elderly adults—7.8% of Americans—did not have health insurance because they could not afford it.
In states that did not expand Medicaid, more than one in four non-elderly adults were uninsured because they could not afford coverage.
Since so many low-income adults remain uninsured and face significant obstacles accessing affordable health care, it is important to realize that expanding coverage to all low-income adults would substantially improve access to care for some of our nation’s most vulnerable populations.
Taking action to improve access to coverage through actions such as increasing federal funding for safety net providers and community health centers are critical steps towards reducing inequities in access between states.
7.6% of people aged 18–64 were uninsured in 2017
Compared to 2016, there was no statistically significant change in the overall uninsured rate.
More than 8 million people aged 18–64 gained coverage since September 2013, when coverage expanded under health reform.
But 22 million people still remained uninsured in 2017 and 11 million of them were aged 18–25.
The highest uninsured rates continue to be among young adults who are not eligible for Medicaid or subsidies in a Marketplace.
Most uninsured Americans work full time (62%) or part time (22%)
About 26 million U.S. residents under age 65, or 9% of that population, are uninsured.
Among all people who are uninsured, about four-in-ten (41%) work full time, and another 22% work part time.
Three-in-ten do not have a job but report being either retired or disabled (28%). The remainder include 6% who report that they are looking for work.
15% of uninsured adults fall into poverty once they get sick and need care.
When most people think of healthcare affordability, they usually just think about their insurance premiums.
If you’re getting your coverage through an employer plan, you may even think you have no expenses to worry about because your employer covers them.
The truth is that health insurance isn’t free; it comes at a cost. For single plans in 2016, that amount is $5,500 per year (for an individual), according to a study by eHealth.
The cost varies based on where you live and what type of coverage you choose.
In addition to monthly premiums, almost every plan requires copayments or coinsurance for visits to doctors and hospitalizations—and some services aren’t covered at all.
Healthcare is unaffordable without financial assistance, even with ACA subsidies.
If you’re wondering why you can’t afford health insurance, it’s important to remember that insurance is expensive.
There are many Americans who make far less than $10 an hour and still cannot afford premiums in states that don’t offer ACA subsidies (if they even have access to a plan at all).
In fact, according to 2015 data from The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one-third of adults between 19 and 64 have incomes below 250 percent of poverty level—in other words, they earn less than $28,725 a year.
By law, exchanges must offer subsidized insurance plans if your income is between 100 and 400 percent of poverty level.
Preventive care is not affordable without assistance; only 28% get it.
The Affordable Care Act is expected to give 10 million Americans access to health insurance who previously did not have it.
But preventive care will still be out of reach for many, according to a recent study from Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms.
According to The Huffington Post, only 28% of uninsured people reported getting adequate preventative care in 2012.
That number drops even further for low-income groups and minorities.
Latinos with incomes under $25,000 were more likely than any other group (43%) to say they didn’t get preventative care that year—perhaps because 62% said their last visit was for an illness or injury, rather than a checkup or test.
The ACA increased the number of insured individuals but it didn’t solve the problem of the cost of healthcare.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has played a role in increasing health insurance coverage over recent years.
In fact, there are approximately 20 million more insured people across all 50 states than there were in 2013.
That’s no small number, but it’s also not enough when you look at how many people still don’t have health insurance.
In 2016, more than 26 million people were uninsured—that’s one out of every eight Americans—despite ACA provisions that require individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty and allow adult children to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26.
Even with Medicaid expansion included, most states failed to meet targets for reducing uninsured individuals due to limits on eligibility and funding issues.