Census: Number of Americans without health insurance increased in 2018

By Daniel Uria

Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The number of people without health insurance in the United States increased in 2018, a Census Bureau report released Tuesday indicates.

The annual report found that 8.5 percent of Americans, or 27.5 million people, did not have health insurance at any point in 2018, up from 7.9 percent, or 25.6 million people in 2017.


It marked the first year-to-year increase in the percentage of uninsured people since 2008-09.

The number of people who had health insurance coverage for the entire year of 2018 also fell to 91.5 percent, down from 92.1 percent in 2017.

Private health insurance remained the more prevalent form of health insurance as 67.3 percent of people were covered by private firms, while 34.4 percent had public healthcare. Coverage through an employer was the most common type of insurance, with 55.1 percent of people receiving care through their job for all or part of the year.

The percentage of people covered by Medicaid decreased by 0.7 percentage points to 17.9 percent from 2018, while the rate of Medicare coverage increased by 0.4 percent.

"This increase was driven by growth in the number of people age 65 and over," the report stated. "Among those 65 years and older, the Medicare coverage rate did not statistically change between 2017 and 2018. However, the percentage of the U.S. population 65 years and older increased between 2017 and 2018. In 2018, the percentage of people covered by Medicaid was not statistically different from the percentage covered by Medicare."


The data comes as the Trump administration and some other Republican lawmakers have made efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The law passed in 2012 mandated that all Americans enroll in some form of health insurance or face a fine.

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