New Census Estimates Show 3 Million More Americans Had Health Insurance Coverage in 2012. Age and Uninsurance

11/01/2013

  • The estimated percentage of children (under 19) who were uninsured fell from 9.7% in 2011 to 9.2% in 2012 (Table 1), a statistically significant change.  The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA), signed by President Obama in 2009, has improved public coverage under Medicaid and CHIP with provisions such as Express Lane Eligibility, which allows states to use information collected for other programs; bonus payments to states that do well in enrolling and retaining eligible children; and automatic eligibility for newborns whose mothers are enrolled.3  Over 4 million more children had public coverage in 2012 than in 2008, while the number with private coverage has remained about the same.  However, an estimated 7.2 million children were uninsured in 2012.
  • Through 2009, uninsurance rates for 19-25-year-olds were about 5 percentage points higher than those for 26-34-year-olds.  The Affordable Care Act’s expansion of dependent coverage, allowing 19-25-year-olds to be covered under a parent’s employer-sponsored or individually purchased coverage, began to take effect in September 2010 and has completely eliminated this coverage gap, although an estimated 27.2% of each age group remain uninsured in 2012 (Table 1).  Uninsurance rates for these groups were statistically unchanged from 2011
  • Estimates of uninsurance rates for ages 35-44 (21.1%), 45-64 (16.2%), and 65 and older (1.5%), also shown in Table 1, were statistically unchanged from 2011.
  • Due to Medicare, the elderly make up a very small proportion of the uninsured (Figure 1).  Children, who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP at higher income levels than parents, also make up a smaller share of the uninsured than of the general population.   Young adults (19-34) make up a larger share of the uninsured than of the general population and are a special focus for Marketplace outreach.  Adults between 35 and 44 are also somewhat more likely to be uninsured than the general population, while adults between 45 and 64 are about the same proportion of the uninsured and of the general population.
Table 1: Estimated Uninsured Rates by Age and Race/Ethnicity

 

 

Uninsured Rate4

Percent of the Total

Population

Percent of the Uninsured5

Age

0-18

9.2%

25.1%

15.0%

19-25

27.2%

9.7%

17.1%

26-34

27.2%

12.1%

21.3%

35-44

21.1%

12.8%

17.6%

45-64

16.2%

26.3%

27.6%

65 and above

1.5%

13.9%

1.3%

Race/Ethnicity

Latino

(any race)

29.1%

17.1%

32.3%

African American

(alone)

19.0%

12.9%

15.9%

Asian American

(alone)

15.1%

5.3%

5.2%

White

(Non-Latino)

11.1%

62.8%

45.0%

Source: ASPE calculations from Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith, U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-245, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2013 (http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p60-245.pdf), accessed September 17, 2013.

 

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