CHA News Article

U.S. Census Announces Uninsured Rate Drops to 10.4 Percent in 2014

The U.S. Census Bureau announced in a recent report that the percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire 2014 calendar year was 10.4 percent, down from 13.3 percent in 2013. The report, titled Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014, also finds that the number of people without health insurance declined to 33 million from 41.8 million over the same period. Over time, changes in the rate of health insurance coverage and the distribution of coverage types may reflect economic trends, shifts in the demographic composition of the population and policy changes that impact access to health care. Several such policy changes occurred in 2014, when many provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act went into effect. The report shows California’s uninsured rate dropped to 12.4 percent in 2014, down from 17.2 percent in 2013. The reduction drop is the fifth largest decline among all states.

Key report findings include:

  • The percentage of people with health insurance for all or part of 2014 was 89.6 percent, higher than in 2013 (86.7 percent).
  • After several years of a relatively stable uninsured rate between 2008 and 2013, as measured by the American Community Survey, the percentage of the population who were uninsured dropped in 2014. This represents the largest percentage point decline in the uninsured rate during this period.
  • Between 2013 and 2014, the increase in the percentage of the population covered by health insurance was due to an increase in the rates of both private and government coverage. The rate of private coverage increased by 1.8 percentage points to 66 percent in 2014, and the government coverage rate increased by two percentage points to 36.5 percent.
  • Of the subtypes of health insurance, employment-based insurance covered the most people (55.4 percent of the population), followed by Medicaid (19.5 percent), Medicare (16 percent), direct-purchase (14.6 percent) and military health care (4.5 percent).
  • Between 2013 and 2014, the greatest changes in coverage rates were the increases in direct-purchase health insurance and Medicaid. The largest percentage-point change in coverage was for direct purchase, which increased by 3.2 percentage points to cover 14.6 percent of people for some or all of 2014. The percentage of people with Medicaid coverage during all or part of the year increased by two percentage points to 19.5 percent in 2014.
  • In 2014, the uninsured rate for children younger than 19 was 6.2 percent, down from 7.5 percent in 2013.
  • In 2014, the uninsured rate for children younger than 19 in poverty (8.6 percent) was higher than the uninsured rate for children not in poverty (5.6 percent).

The full report can be found at www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2015/demo/p60-253.pdf.

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