Report on health insuranceAccord­ing to the lat­est Cen­sus Bureau report, the esti­mat­ed U.S. pop­u­la­tion for the 2013 sur­vey was 313.4 mil­lion com­pared to 311.1 mil­lion in 2012, yet the total per­cent­age of unin­sured dropped from 15.4% in 2012 to 13.4% in 2013.


The U.S. Cen­sus Bureau recent­ly released its report, Health Insur­ance Cov­er­age in the Unit­ed States: 2013. While pre­vi­ous reports often com­pared sta­tis­tics from pri­or years, this report includes a “com­plete redesign of the health insur­ance ques­tions,” so cau­tion is rec­om­mend­ed when com­par­ing fig­ures from the 2013 report to esti­mates from pri­or years. Here are some of the highlights.


How is health insur­ance cov­er­age defined? 

The report uses three gen­er­al cat­e­gories to clas­si­fy the health insur­ance sta­tus of the pop­u­la­tion: those who have pri­vate health insur­ance, those insured through gov­ern­ment health insur­ance pro­grams, and the unin­sured. Pri­vate cov­er­age includes insur­ance obtained from a pri­vate (com­mer­cial) insur­ance com­pa­ny or through an employ­er or from a union. The report describes gov­ern­ment insur­ance as includ­ing Medicare, Med­ic­aid, Chil­dren’s Health Insur­ance Pro­gram, indi­vid­ual state health plans, TRICARE, and cov­er­age pro­vid­ed by or through the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs and the mil­i­tary. The unin­sured are con­sid­ered to be only those who did not have cov­er­age for the entire year.


Who’s insured?

Some gen­er­al sta­tis­tics for 2013:

  • 13.4% (or approx­i­mate­ly 42 mil­lion peo­ple) of the pop­u­la­tion were unin­sured for the entire year
  • 86.6% of the pop­u­la­tion had health insur­ance in 2013, of which
  • 64.2% were cov­ered by pri­vate health insurance
  • 53.9% of those cov­ered by pri­vate health insur­ance obtained their cov­er­age through their employer
  • 34.3% of the insured pop­u­la­tion had gov­ern­ment health insur­ance, of which
  • 17.3% were cov­ered by Med­ic­aid, and
  • 15.6% were cov­ered by Medicare


Age and health insur­ance coverage

Accord­ing to the report, age plays a role in whether a per­son has health insur­ance cov­er­age. Sta­tis­ti­cal­ly, old­er adults age 65 and over and chil­dren under age 19 were more like­ly to have health insur­ance cov­er­age, in part because of their eli­gi­bil­i­ty for insur­ance through var­i­ous gov­ern­ment pro­grams (93.6% of old­er adults and 40.4% of chil­dren were cov­ered by gov­ern­ment plans).

Con­verse­ly, the per­cent­age of adults under age 65 who were unin­sured (15.3%) was high­er than the per­cent­age of unin­sured adults over age 65 (1.6%). Of the unin­sured pop­u­la­tion under age 65, 7.6% of chil­dren under age 19 and 19% of adults between ages 19 and 64 were uninsured.


Income and health insur­ance coverage 

Sta­tis­ti­cal­ly, peo­ple with low­er house­hold incomes tend to have high­er unin­sured rates. For those with annu­al house­hold incomes under $25,000, 21.6% were unin­sured for the entire year, com­pared with 18.7% of peo­ple with house­hold incomes rang­ing from $25,000 to $49,999, and 13.1% of peo­ple with incomes rang­ing from $50,000 to $74,999. Only 5.3% of peo­ple with house­hold incomes of $150,000 or more were uninsured.

The report includes health insur­ance sta­tis­tics for sev­er­al oth­er cat­e­gories as well. The report does not specif­i­cal­ly relate insur­ance sta­tis­tics to the impact (if any) of the fed­er­al health insur­ance law, the Patient Pro­tec­tion and Afford­able Care Act.